You call us street people. Society has written us off. You say that we are worthless and that we don’t matter. You walk by us on the streets every day and you just look the other way. You would rather forget about us, pretend that we do not exist. But, we DO exist. We are not the monsters that society has made us out to be. We are ordinary people just like you. We are just down on our luck, in a matter of speaking. We are the forgotten youth and it’s time that we spoke out. When we cannot find work, we have to go on welfare to survive. So you call us “welfare bums.” When you hurt yourself (or whatever the case may be), and you have to go on welfare or unemployment, we do not call you lazy, or call you a bum. When it happens to you, you say that you do not want to be there, but you have to be there. Well, it is the same for us. If we could find a job and pick ourselves up out of the gutter, we would. Do you really believe that we want to be where we are, and that we want to sit around and do nothing with our lives? If you would only give us a chance, we would show you that we ARE somebodies and that DO matter and that we CAN make a difference. All we need is for someone (like you) to give us a chance to make something of ourselves. We are not asking for special treatment. All we would like is a fair chance like anybody else. Maybe if you could put yourself into our shoes for a little while, you would see just how hard it is to make something of yourself with all the limitations and expectations that society has put upon us. With how difficult it is to get off the street, some of us succeed in getting off the streets, but then some of us don’t make it quite that far. However, you cannot look at the people who slip back onto the streets or that give up, and base your whole theory of street people on them, because that is not fair to the rest of us who are trying to make it. So, when you see us on the streets, do not be afraid to look at us or to talk to us. Don’t look at where we are, look at who we are- and who are we? We are ordinary people just like you. We just need the chance to show people that we ARE worth something and that we CAN and DO make a difference.