Sponsor A Street Youth
Chicken Little, or CL as he's known to us, is a 17 year old currently living on the streets of Montreal. He's been homeless for 2 years and counting, travelling between cities, sleeping where he can and panhandling for money to survive.
I first met CL in the early spring, and we became friends pretty quickly. This kid has a great heart. He's really into parkour and is skilled at climbing, jumping and weaving through the urban jungle.
I have spent several days with CL and a bunch of other folks who live most of their lives on the streets of Montreal. CL has been my personal guide into a world that most people pass briskly by. We've had some fun adventures, and we've had some scary ones. Together we have had our lives threatened and been roughed up in an alley. I have met folks whose stories I can barely repeat without tearing up. I have witnessed police say 'that's what you get'.
I have also seen this kid beaming with joy while wearing our tees. Our 4 power words are transformed by whoever wears the shirt. We get that, and are reminded that that's always been the case. The 'We' declaration is a call to self-represent and self-identify as marginal, in some way. But something different is happening when you see a homeless youth brandish the slogan.
Homeless folks have a certain ephemeral quality; they are living ghosts to most people who walk right by their cups or caps. The phrase 'WE LIVE HERE TOO' is arresting in its power and call for visibility in this particular situation (and resonates in my ears and in my heart in a way that is profoundly different). Seeing him stand on the street wearing a shirt that says LOOK AT ME (perhaps for the first time) is really, really striking.
We have been thinking of ways to extend our support to CL by offering the ability to 'sponsor' homeless youth by 'purchasing' items for him. We came up with a list of things that would make street-living safer, cleaner and healthier for him.
It is not within the scope of this project to offer him a way out of homeless lifestyle; in fact he has no interest in doing that, currently. He's been bitten by a travel bug, and wants to spend the rest of his teenage years travelling Canada.
We would love to be able to assist him in that dream, and are offering a way for you to help out as well. Your purchase of the items listed will help fill his travel bag and work to keep him safe in his journeys.
For more information about how this works, check out our F.A.Q., or feel free to contact us.