Thousands of youth in San Francisco are at the mercy of the elements and forced to prostitute and beg for help to survive. A majority of these youth are gay youth but then you have thousands that are straight too.

Our City of San Francisco has a budget of $5 billion plus and it is right for Mayor Gavin Newsom to talk in terms of really helping our youth. Even Bevan Dufty will agree with me that our youth are being shafted and especially our gay youth and forced to live on the streets.

Over the last 25 years I have helped hundreds of gay youth especially because they are very vulnerable on the streets of San Francisco. It is easier for straight youth to find some solace and help but not so for gay youth because the obstacles are more, unique and many.

Our Mayor Office of Housing and our Mayor Office of Community Development should take another look at helping our youth. Youth that are 18 years and younger and those that are from 18 years to 24 years. Let us not mix the two categories together.

The ignorant City Agencies do not pay heed when they are told that thousands of youth crash in car as the only place they get to sleep. Then there are thousands that sleep here, there, and every where and yet go to school. How can we allow such stuff to happen in San Francisco?

Again and again when I mention to the youth that there is help for them with organization such as Lyric - some of them get them but many for one reason or the other are left to fend for themselves.

The situation with homeless youth and those in despair such as the mentally ill should be dealt with on an emergency basis. I keep telling that to the Board of Supervisors but most of them do not get it. Many feel that some how the youth will get over it and get back on track. Too many youth are taken advantage of and many die when they can live. It is wrong to kill the soul of any youth and numb them forever. It is shocking to study the data and find out that many of the youth are traumatized for life. Especially those youth who are sexually abused for years. Then you have those that cannot come out of the closet because they are afraid to face the world. At least here in San Francisco we are open minded enough to help everyone.

There are special issues with Samoans, Laotians, Cambodians, Vietnamese, African Countries, Middle Eastern Countries, that do not have community facilities to deal with mental issues, youth that are bipolar, and youth that simply have fallen in very bad company for all the wrong reasons.

Our Juvenile System in San Francisco has a long way to go. Any one can study the system and find out that all we hear is the blame game and nothing more. It is time that the old models used by the San Francisco Juvenile System is thrown out the door and that we look at the youth with compassion, a new vision, and change for the better.

The City of San Francisco must build housing for the youth that are under 18 years with in house facilities and tough love models that will bring them on track for those that need them.

There are other youth that need housing only because they have fallen through the crack, their family have become homeless especially those evicted from Public Housing, and there are many other good reasons that can find youth on the streets of San Francisco.

Some youth find solace with relatives but relatives can do so much unless they are very rich and many of the youth that need help do not have very rich relatives. I keep running into youth that need help and I try my best to work with some agencies but you can imagine the difficulties. San Francisco offers little solace and help to youth.

Often times the only alternative is to find some shelter in hotels that will give you a good weekly rate. Then you find another and yet another and all that cost money and no one will compensate you for your good will and expenses. Our City of San Francisco can do better but it has yet to step to the podium and declare that it will cater and work for the benefit of the youth in San Francisco.

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