This young lady is now dead.
Angel Femia

At LoveCry we have endured loosing three people to death by street drugs {crack}, scams, robbery, improper and dangerous living conditions and prositution in this past year. {This is not including the other homeless deaths of those whom do not frequent our establishment as often}.

All of these kids had to change the format of their income due to the safe streets act that was placed into our lives with much opposition.

Junior (Shaun Keghan) {19 years old} went from panhandling to squeeging to robbery, prostitution, crack and now gone. Anita {18 years old} went from panhandling and selling the paper to prostitution with crack and Amanda, {19 years old} went from squeeging to prostitution and crack now gone. Brenda as well grew from panhandling, stripping, prostitution crack then to her death. Thomas evolved from drug dealing, stripping, prostituting crack then death. There are many more.

The following story is about one of our younger kids. This hurts!!!

Way too young and one hell of a life. Amanda was a Street Kid. She hit the street of Toronto at the age of eleven. Learned how to squeegee to keep herself alive. Then the Safe Streets Act was put into place. Amanda was still too young to be allowed to enter the homeless establishments. She was not yet sixteen. With little choice that she could see and understand Amanda opted for Prostition and then crack, as so many of our Street Kids do.

I personally knew Amanda as a child of 11 years until her death. She lived in the Twinkie Squat down by the Lakeshore with hundreds of other LoveCry kids. Amanda was very well known to everyone, as she was the youngest child on the streets at that time. When she would visit LoveCry we would watch movies. Amanda loved movies and would always sit by my feet on the floor and hug my legs to feel safe and wanted. I would stroke her head and she would relax for a while. Amanda loved pizza so once in a while we would all pull together to pay for her favorite food. She was our baby.

When Amanda was with the LoveCry kids she would Squeegee for her keep. Once the laws changed she, like many others was forced to change ways of getting an income and chose prostituting.

Amanda did not give LoveCry her money, as she did not work for LoveCry. No one younger than nineteen is allowed to panhandle, squeegee or sell the newspaper for LoveCry. Anyone under nineteen or did not reside at LoveCry, was keeping their money to survive.

Many street kids would and to this day do not go into the organizations as the atmosphere, discipline, responsibility and judgments [from both clients and staff}, are far too hard for them to handle and this type of abuse is what they originally ran from. The anger, rage and hellish sadness {sitting deeply within their guts from their abuse issues} that just appears within them is also a grave factor as to why kids stay out on the streets as opposed to going into the shelters for safety. In Amanda’s case, like many others she was just too young.

Amanda came to LoveCry to eat, get necessities, support, love and safety. She was loved and cared for by all who knew her and will be missed. She was head strong and very determined to get by weather on the streets, in a squat or in a home. Amanda would always fend for herself. Even at the ripe old age of eleven.

We are constantly being asked here at LoveCry and The Toronto Street news, why we support the homeless panning, squeeging and selling papers. Well people, scenarios such as Amanda’s death is what we have been trying to prevent. Learning how to communicate, respect others and stop being afraid of people and all else is what LoveCry kids learn as well as good business sense, math, manners, ethics and what ever our loving customers want to give us to help us heal.

LoveCry kids as well as myself have learned and grown greatly due to the people who give money for panning, squeeging and sales of The Toronto Street News. When you take the time to stop, talk, give us food or gifts you are helping us to trust and heal.

We thank you from our hearts and ask you to keep supporting so that no one else has to die like Amanda, Junior, Brenda Thomas and Anita.

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