Our mission is to connect homeless youth with each other and with the world at large by providing a space for young people living on the streets to develop their communication skills and see themselves as part of an empowered community. By exploring the stories and ideas of “road dogs” through writing, art and multi-media expression, we are bringing these often ignored and misunderstood
voices into the public forum.
Roaddawgz voices are the sound of the underground – the railroad
yards and the freeways, the back roads, alleys and underpasses. These
are the places where you’ll find unsung revolutionaries.
These stories have something of the utmost importance to relate. They
are the reverberations of a marginalized society that holds within itself
the seeds of an alternative way of life. Young people who choose to be
homeless are strong, perceptive and do not buy into force-fed mainstream
media and other commercial sound bites. The wayfarer’s experiences
highlight a quest for freedom that most people never even begin.
So, all you Roaddawgz, don’t let capitalism and materialism be the
only voices present. There are hungry minds out there that want to know
the other facets of life, and by sharing your stories, you can align with
one another to help those less fortunate or perhaps a little less brave
to find their own ways to freedom. What made you want to embark on this
journey in the first place? Did you feel restless, stifled, unfulfilled,
unacknowledged by everyday life? What have you found since being on the
Read on…your story may already be mirrored here. And if it isn’t,
we would like to hear it.
WHAT WE DO
regular outreach in San Francisco to encourage young people living on
the streets to express themselves through writing or art.
one-on-one editorial counseling at our drop-in center at Hospitality
House, a homeless services agency located in San Francisco’s Tenderloin
multi-media workshops and/or training–from journalism to web design
to photography to theater—for homeless youth to develop their
the writing and art of homeless youth on our roaddawgz.org website and
in YO! Youth Outlook, a 25,000 circulation youth magazine distributed
among high schools, libraries and community-based organizations throughout
the Bay Area.
partnerships with other homeless youth-serving agencies and organizations
to strengthen cross-sector service networks that address a wide range
STORIES TO ROADDAWGZ
If you are or have been homeless and are under the age of 25 or identify
yourself as a “youth” we want to hear from you! Please submit
stories, poetry, reflections or art to Program Director/Publisher Machiko Saito
or in person at the address below. We want to know what your experiences
and ideas are about living on the streets, from the personal to the political.
Each week one or two questions or writing topics will be posted on the
website, and we encourage you to address these in addition to your own
ideas. Please specify which question you are responding to.
ROADDAWGZ is more than a drop-in center for homeless and traveling youth. It is a non-judgmental sanctuary to many, where people can write, draw, use a computer, talk on the phone, meet fellow travelers and potential squatting partners, share information, obtain resources and services regarding: health care, psychological counseling, drug rehabilitation, employment experience and opportunities, food and clothing.
ROADDAWGZ welcomes all to be a part of a common safe place for developing and sharing literary, artistic and life skills. Work created by homeless youth is published weekly on our website and periodically in zines, magazines and other publications. Roaddawgz has also published a paperback compilation called the “Freedom Manual” with over four years of writings and art now available at bookstores in San Francisco, New York, online, and at the Roaddawgz drop-in space.
Stories published on the website
will be awarded $20 in cash (art and poems$10) and showcased on our homepage. Stories that
are chosen for reprinting in other publications, including Pacific News Service,
NCM and NAM Wire and YO! Youth Outlook are eligible for additional
payment of $50 to $150. Please allow at least one week turnaround for your story to
be posted on the website and/or payment.
If you’re in San Francisco feel free to drop-in; volunteers are also welcome. People out of the area can submit work by e-mail or mail.
LOCATION AND DROP-IN HOURS
Temporary Address: 230 Hyde Street
Permanent Location: 146 Leavenworth Street
(between Golden Gate and Turk, in the basement
of Hospitality House, please ring doorbell)
San Francisco, CA 94102
Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays, 1pm-6pm
THE FREEDOM MANUAL
The Freedom Manual, released in the summer of 2005, is
a collection of personal narratives, art, photography and practical advice
about living “outside the system” written by and for homeless
youth. Find out how other road dogs learned to build a squat, ride the
rails, and deal with the pain of finding and losing relationships on the
streets. Contact Machiko Saito, firstname.lastname@example.org or
415-923-9085 for more information or to purchase your copy. Roaddawgz was founded in 2000 by a group of homeless youth in San Francisco and is a project of the non-profit Pacific News Service.