Help for Homeless Hollywood Street Kids

Homeless Children ("Children sleeping in Mulberry Street - Jacob Riis photo New York, United States of America (1890)" from Wikipedia
Homeless Children (“Children sleeping in Mulberry Street – Jacob Riis photo New York, United States of America 1890)” from Wikipedia

There are many kids in trouble who were probably rejected by their mothers at birth. Are we seeing the tip of the iceberg? I examine one news article which may have provided evidence.

ComNPR logoment on “Help for Hollywood Street Kids’ Broken Dreams” on Morning Edition on 14 May 2011, where I discuss how these street kids may be children rejected by their mothers before the critical ages of three weeks, three months, and three years, how winning their trust may never be fully successful and how to help them survive when their brains never had the chance to fully develop social ties because of that rejection by the mother.

Posted 14 May 2011
Updated 19 June 2011


NPR Reporter Gloria Hillard interviews an outreach worker, Moises Cabrera, of Covenant House of Los Angeles and some street kids who fled poor living conditions elsewhere to come to Hollywood because it was familiar and appeared to be a place where they could live their dreams, only to find homelessness.

Rejected Child Trust Wordle 1Rejected Children

I am going to discuss the problem of the rejected child.  The single-most difficult thing a person who was rejected by the mother at birth will face is having to trust someone else–it will be enough to reduce the person to tears, even as an adult and will be the driving force behind their self-education.

As stated in this report, many of these kids have suffered abuse and neglect, some because they were gay.  Very likely, a large percentage of these kids were rejected by their mothers at birth; the mother did not want the baby but was forced to put up with having it. She resented the baby when it came and continued to resent it long after it started to grow and develop.  Many such kids have suffered enormous PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and will leave home when they reach an age where they are capable of leaving (see Special Case of Type I PTSD: The Rejected Child).  Those rejected by the mother at birth never developed trust in their mothers, so how can anyone expect them to trust anyone else?  The baseline for establishing trust is not there, and the window of opportunity for establishing it has come and gone by the age of three.

Thus, these workers at Covenant House have their work cut out for them.  These kids might accept a blanket or a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, but they will not trust anyone well enough to take them off the streets into a house where they can be fed and cared for by strangers.  No doubt those kids who do come with them to a home are probably not those rejected by their mothers before the age of 3 years.

That ability to trust will be out of reach, no matter what people try to do for them, even after years of therapy, unless that therapy addresses the original reason for the lack of trust.  Unfortunately, these kids usually have no idea that their mother rejected them at birth, and most adults hope that they will just forget about the tragedy. However, the brain will still remember the many instances of rejection because it has to prepare the person for another case of rejection. The only way therapy can help is if it helps the brain to dissociate the memories from the emotions to prevent further trauma from occurring.

See more on this topic of “Special Case of Type I PTSD–Rejected Children” and in other posts  there on the ways a therapist can help such people using mind-body medicine. I discuss the story of four homeless teenagers who ABC 20/20 on 26 Aug 2011  has been following since 2009. I also discuss there some methods of treatment.

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© Copyright 2014 by Martha L. Hyde and


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