Anthony R. California

Homelessness and Poverty

I’m a fifteen year old student who lives in California and there are a few problems I would like to address that must be resolved. These problems are poverty and homelessness. These related problems are major and affect many lives; both have affected me directly. Growing up I have been homeless a few times and I’ve lived in poverty for 7 years.

Dear President,

Homelessness and Poverty is a major problem facing many young people today.

Everyday I see a homeless person begging for food, water, and money. It hurts to see them in pain especially knowing that I’ve been a homeless child before. Most of these people have mental illness and they don’t notice it so it’s really hard for them to even try to get on their feet once again. What scares me the most is that there is really nothing being done about the homeless.

Both of my parents have mental illnesses and one of them, my father, was homeless a few months ago. Now I fear that my mother might have the same fate as my father because of her illness (which is bipolar disorder).

Poverty ... is a time of my life I’ll never forget. I’ve seen many things, been through many things that a child shouldn’t have to go through. Nine years old: I went into a home that my mother and I were told was safe--it was not. That hell hole. I’ve almost died from crazy neighbors with my mother and sadly I was raped. Rape is something that a nine year old should never go through and I was a victim of it. It’s something I would never tell anyone, but I need to use an example of what could happen while living in poverty.

But, wait, there's more I went through.

11-year-old me and my mother were robbed by a drug dealer. At 13-years-old we moved to a hellish street called Drew Street in Los Angeles, near Glendale. At 14-years-old I’ve seen a flashbang for the first time, used at 4:26 a.m. to zip tie an entire house by an L.A.P.D. Swat team and other law enforcement agents. Soon after, my Grandfather died and my mother’s illness went truly crazy. January 11th, 2016, I was in a car accident with my mother who thought we were going to die and was talking to the radio that wasn’t even on. January 15th, 2016 I had to call the police on my mother because she was breaking down my locked door with a golf club. Soon after that I went with Guardians and got out of poverty, finally, but my mother didn’t. To this day she is barely surviving out there.

Please Mrs./Mr. President hear me out. Help out those in poverty and those who are homeless. Especially, help out kids, so they can live a normal life and won’t have to go through what I went through. I’m actually lucky; I’m still normal and survived, but many other kids don’t make it out there and waste their lives in gangs or nothing at all. Please allow those kids to experience happiness instead of the deep darkness of depression.


Anthony Rocco

John Henry Francis Polytechnic High School

Honors English 10 B / Period 3

Sophomore English class in the magnet program of John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in Sun Valley, California.

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