Book Summary

STREET CHILD: A Memoir is an independent project which has garnered international success. The grassroots campaign led by Justin has spawned supporters dubbed “The Street Team,” which continues to rally behind him and the message of hope the book inspires. Thousands of books have been donated to homeless shelters and at-risk youth programs to help inspire better lives for the many who suffer through homelessness, addiction and continuing social injustices.

The books the world calls immoral, are the books that show the world its own shame.” – Oscar Wilde

“Street Child is not for the faint of heart” – THE SEATTLE TIMES

Street Child
is the shock-inspiring story of a young boy who escapes his increasingly dysfunctional and violent middle class home. Remanded into state custody at ten years old, he embarks on a journey through the foster care system only finding safety from unlikely skid-row heroes on downtown streets of Seattle and San Francisco – where children are victims and victims are considered criminals.

While dodging serial killers and predators, including a juvenile court judge who oversees his custody, these children develop familial bonds while protecting each other in an increasingly dangerous – yet invisible world. By telling these authentic stories with often times devastating outcomes, he articulates the stark reality of life on the streets for countless young people.

Many of the children in Street Child were featured in the movie STREETWISE which was nominated for an Academy Award.

Street Child is a powerful and intimate depiction into these homeless children’s actual lives during their most desperate times of survival. Their sweet camaraderie, funny antics, and intimate relationships will move your heart and soul into a new understanding and personalization of their noble plight.

Author Justin Reed Early cultivates hope while bringing new life to his childhood friends. The children portrayed are real and these stories are authentic.

Street Child is a journey no child should ever have to endure.

The Statistics

  • Each year, approximately 2 million young people (the population of Manhattan) experience homelessness in America.
  • In 2008, over 740,000 (the population of Seattle)documented contacts were made by youth outreach professionals in the United States (as per the National Alliance to End Homelessness) and of those, less than 43,000 received emergency shelter and less than 3,600 were accepted into a transitional housing program.
  • In New York City, it is estimated there are 7,000 homeless youth on the streets each night – there are only 72 emergency shelter beds for them.

In many large cities, 20% – 40% homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. 45% are African American.

  • While homeless youth typically experience severe family conflict as the primary reason for their homelessness, LGBTQ youth are twice as likely to experience sexual abuse before the age of 12.
  • LGBTQ youth, once homeless, are at higher risk for victimization, mental health problems, and unsafe sexual practices.
  • 58.7% of LGBTQ homeless youth have been sexually victimized compared to 33.4% of heterosexual homeless youth.
  • LGBTQ youth are roughly 7.4 times more likely to experience acts of sexual violence than heterosexual homeless youth.
  • LGBTQ homeless youth commit suicide at higher rates (62%) than heterosexual homeless youth (29%).

(Source: National Alliance to End Homelessness, National Coalition for the Homeless.)