They’re recognizable by their overstuffed backpacks, dogs, and cardboard panhandling signs. They’ve been given many labels: gutter punks, crusties, street kids.
In New York, their base is the East Village, that long-time hub for young people on the fringes; when the weather grows cold, many will hitchhike or “hop freight” to warmer cities in the South or out West.
Watch the video and say whether the statements below are true or false.
1 People are eager to get more and more stuff, according to the first girl.
2 The couple met through a dog.
3 The boy was thrown out of his parents' home.
4 The second girl was homeless as a child.
5 The girl with the dog resents people taking pictures of her.
6 The three of them are happy with their life style.
7 The boy is trying to find himself.
People always want more, I guess. I grew up listening to my stepfather be like, oh if only I had a house. And then he gets a house. And then it's like, if only I had a car in the garage. Then you get a car, and it's like, if I just had a boat. A lot is lost in wanting more stuff.
I don't want too much. It would be nice to have a lot of things, but at the same time, I feel like if I had them, I wouldn't feel good about having them, so… so why want them, really?
Everybody's trying to help you defeat the homeless problem, get back on your feet, like we tripped a little bit. There's not a place for this to exist, we just do it anyway.
We came here to try and make money to get a new pack.
Once I figured out happiness without money, it seemed really silly to compromise myself to make money.
Do you want me to brush your hair?
How'd we meet?
She came up and talked to my dog.
I'm from Springfield, Missouri, and I'm always welcome in my parents' home. I'm my own person. I've heard my mom say that a couple times with just a touch of forced pride.
What pants are you going to wear? Because I'm wearing your pants.
They have a board with a world map on it with pins from where everybody's from that's eaten here.
My parents just lost our house, so my childhood home is now gone.
I'd say most of us have had huge structural failures in their life support system.
It's Charlie. That's my baby. Greatly appreciated. People like the dog.
Can you not take my picture, please? Thank you.
People do that all the time. They just stop in front of you like you're in the zoo or something and take your picture.
All right. Now he's ready to play.
We really know how to clear a place, huh? It's OK. Shake it off.
Probably most of us are leaving something we don't like. And then once you start free-falling, everywhere, there's just this culture that will reach out and help you stand back up. Or keep going.
There's a bunch of kids around the corner if you guys want to hang out with them.
If you're sitting on the ground someplace here people don't sit on the ground, they know something's wrong.
Is something wrong? No. I suppose I may be taking advantage of that misconception.
Let's hope for better days.
Because I don't give them their money back and explain, oh no, you have misjudged the entire situation.
I actually am OK doing this.
I'm really happy right now. It's almost my job to just eat that discomfort.
I really don't know what the hang up is. I like working. I like getting up and having something to do and feeling accomplished, and doing that and getting my paycheck at the end of the week, earning something. But I doubt if I got it, that I'd be satisfied.
Self-exploration is only possible when you have a multitude of different experiences. If you're doing the same thing over and over again, you don't have any idea who you are in another place, doing another thing.
I just want to enjoy myself. For now, I mean, I plan for the future… I just do it differently. And the adventure parts a lot of fun.
Yeah, it's all about the adventure.
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