aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

This NYT story about runaway teens is set in my home town

Reading this New York Times story about the recession driving teens to run away - their families are often not even looking for them - I felt a mix of emotions.

How can you not be riveted by a story that begins like this, "Dressed in soaked green pajamas, Betty Snyder, 14, huddled under a cold drizzle at the city park as several older boys decided what to do with her."

Although it's a bit of a bait-and-switch - the boys aren't deciding who gets to rape her first, but rather how to genuinely help her.

Part of me is appalled. Hawthorne Park, where a lot of these homeless kids are spending their days, is a mile from my parent's house.

Part of me understands. I was a down in Medford three times this summer, and the economy is clearly struggling. The newspaper is mostly made of of foreclosure notices. The business my brother worked for closed after 60 years, and he now ekes out a living selling off the remaining inventory on ebay.

Part of me wonders how I can help. I'm especially drawn to the young woman squatting in her parent's foreclosed house so she can keep going to high school.

A little part of me was amazed to read that Medford now has a population of 76,000 - when I graduated, it was about 18,000.

And part of me thinks it might make a good book.

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