So many youth in America these days are in dire straits. As we’ve traveled, we’ve looked at this issue in so many different dimensions: We toured a “youth ranch” in northern Wyoming for troubled youth. In Denver, Colorado, we met with a Christian Ministry (Dry Bones) that works with teenagers living on the streets there. In Needles, California, we looked at the Drug Court Program that, in part, works with youth with addiction problems. In Portland, Indiana, we researched a program that does abstinence education to youth in schools – starting in the fifth grade!
My wife Liz and I often talk about running for president as “concerned parents.” And not only are we concerned about our kids, we’re concerned about everybody’s kids. As a young journalist, I came across some of these troubled kids at the Knoop Children’s Home. And, consequently, I wrote a three-part series about the place, and the kids.
Living in solidarity…
We, at one point, moved to a hardscrabble area of Cleveland where we lived in solidarity with some of these youth who, day in and day out, were trying to dodge hunger, needles and bullets. These kids, because of family circumstances, and such, need as many adult mentors in their lives as possible. My wife Liz and I tried to be that for a number of kids down there.
And while we didn’t do it perfectly, we were there for them. As the following short chapter from our book America’s Best Urban Neighborhood will explain.