Imagine yourself, thirteen or fourteen years old. Home is such a terrible place that you run away to the one place where you think your dreams will come true, Hollywood. Once you are there you have no friends and no home. You are taken advantage of and disrespected worse than you could ever imagine. But you stay because you have no where else to go, you stay because being taken advantage of by strangers is better than by your own family. You stay because home is even worse than the streets.
Now go out and get a copy of Boulevard, a novel by Bill Guttentag. It is based on the true story of a girl named Casey who ran away to Sunset Boulevard. You think you imagined the worst possible scenario? You are dead wrong. Casey's story is unlike anything you have ever heard in your life. It is filled with teenagers leaving home because they were being molested by a family member, they were kicked out by their parents for being gay or because they got addicted to meth after they tried it once at a party. Teenagers selling their bodies on the streets for cash to survive. It's disturbing, a train wreck really. You cannot help but keep turning those pages.
This book is filled with horrible things, so if you are really sensitive, I do not recommend you reading it. I have never been to California, and I don't know if this is going on still today. I am sure it is, and there has to be something we can do to help.