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Venice’s Homeless Teens Intimidate, Inspire | Los Angeles , California | ABC7 Los Angeles

Venice Beach has a large homeless population. There is concern about a growing number of young people. They say they are in their 20s, but service groups say they are often teens trying to avoid detection.

To Venice Beach they come, from across the nation. Not tourists, these are kids who are homeless and fending for themselves.

“Sixteen-, 17-year-olds that their parents didn’t want to take care of them and kicked them out,” said “Cricket” from San Francisco.

“I have a pit bull, and I’m kind of mean sometimes,” said Desta Atkins from Montana. “And I can fight if need be — hasn’t happened. I have a boyfriend, so I’m good.”

Sometimes they’re sweet, sometimes they’re in your face. Alison Hurst with Safe Place For Youth sees it all.

“When it gets dark down here, that bravado gets dropped and lost, and they become kids again, and vulnerable kids,” said Hurst.

She heads a troupe of volunteers who do outreach and meals twice a week at a location they don’t want to disclose for fear the young people will be targets for pedophiles.

Jordan Jovanovich from Minneapolis just termed out of foster care.

“I am never alone here,” said Jovanovich. “The first day, somebody went to stab somebody and pushed me in front of them.”

“Rain. When it gets really rainy and all of our stuff is drenched, and we had to sleep in a bathroom last night,” said Desta Atkins.

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via ABC7 Los Angeles