Last night I met a friend for dinner. Valpo has a ton of amazing places to eat so we settled on Pikk’s (yum) and sat down to eat all of the food. Now, the person I spent all this time with was my boyfriend back in high school and it’s a little strange that we’ve become friends again, but that isn’t the point of all of this. I’m sure I wrote old journals all about the angst of my teenaged romance with Justin. But teenaged angst is the subject of my post today. Why? Because Valparaiso seems to be overrun with homeless youths and they are taking over my little city. They were everywhere. And I have to wonder if Valparaiso is aware of this problem or if they are choosing to ignore it.
There’s a chance I sound like an old lady utterly annoyed with youths. And that’s partially true. I dislike youths.
However, this isn’t just about my dislike of youths. I’m really concerned. Clearly these children are homeless as there is no other reason for them to be standing in a park in the rain. If they had perfectly good houses to seek shelter in then they would do that, right? RIGHT? One would hope.
At one point they were scattered along the stage and looked very much like the dress rehearsal of a high school version of Rent. Or maybe Grease. Either way it wasn’t pretty and it made me want to go over and tell them to stop being so typically teenaged. Or at least ask them why they wanted to stand outside in the cold rain. It made no sense.
These poor adolescent vagabonds need to be pushed out of my picturesque town. Do you know how hard it is to enjoy a glass of wine when being forced to watch a sixteen year old boy’s failed attempts at mating? Or how two giggling girls can spoil a lovely cider? I’m sure I don’t need to tell anyone how aggravating and infuriating it is to constantly sidestep street urchins who believe the entire sidewalk is part of their new home.
I worry about them. Truly, I do. I worry about the obviously awful home lives they must have had which forced them to flee into the streets. I wonder where they are keeping the overpriced and skimpy clothing they choose to wear. I wonder how much blood they have to sell just to afford the forty-eight skateboards I saw. Won’t anyone think of the children? Can we raise a benefit to add walk in closets to the Central Park Plaza? I assume they are using the splash pad as a makeshift shower and sleeping at Blackbird cafe, but it’s not enough. Something must be done!