Very different indeed. A bit hard to process for some, so let’s paint a picture of the reality of kids on the street. Many issues certainly, here are a few:
Physical Abuse: most kids are fleeing domestic violence. Hard as street life is, it’s viewed as better than ‘home’.
Substance Abuse: if it hasn’t already started, it comes into the picture big time when the kids hit the streets. It begins as self-medication to try to deal with pain of whatever they are facing. Then it turns into a physiological thing and then the kids need to maintain so as not to go into withdrawal.
All alone: Even though they hang out in larger groups for safety, each of these ‘tough kids’ is just a kid, like the kid across the street from you, who has HAD to put on an image in order to survive. It is a mask, necessary for survival. No support, no one to help, none. None.