Alexia Lewnes began reporting on the kids who live on New York City's
streets. In Misplaced, she follows five young people:
and her boyfriend Fraggle, runaways with heroin habits from Ohio and
Virginia, who panhandle, sell drugs, and salvage discarded food and
clothing from dumpsters on the streets of the Lower East Side;
(from the Bronx) who schools a shy teenager Cedric (from Brooklyn) on
how to survive on the streets. They spend their days roaming through
the Port Authority Bus terminal, dodging police officers, their nights
trying to sleep on subways or in city shelters;
a foster child, who, by 13, had his jaw broken by two boys at school
because he was gay. By 16, he had lived in more than a dozen group
and foster homes, often running from boys who harassed him, and from
child care workers who did little to protect him.
get get pneumonia, overdose on heroin, are arrested, get beaten up, are
chased by people they owe money to, and trade sex for food, drugs, shelter
and companionship. Some are even rounded up for daytime talk shows that
attempt to reunite them with their long lost families. These young people
speak honestly about their lives - love for parents who beat them; desire
for relationships to ease their loneliness; dreams of living in a house
and having a dog; pain of racial isolation; fear of dying alone.
By tracing the path of these five young people from their homes to our
street corners and incorporating the perspectives of family members, social
service providers, and other significant adults in their lives, Misplaced
sheds light on the causes - not just the symptoms - of their alienation.
Lewnes also reminds us that these kids don't suddenly "grow up"
and become responsible adults. Rather, they often become society's outcasts
or offenders. In the end, we are reminded that what happens to them affects