On the edge - Page 4

44TH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE: For foster youth, turning 18 means growing up fast

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Kirsten Johnson-Bell, 18, said she was in 20 different foster care placements since 2007
PHOTO BY SARAH PHELAN

Patricia Vaughey, with the Marina-Cow Hollow Neighbors, is actively opposed to the project but insists that it isn't out of NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) concerns. "We are not NIMBYs," she told the Guardian. "We want to find a location that's suitable. We want to make sure those kids are safe." She said that criminal activity in the neighborhood made the inn a poor choice. Yet advocates insist that for the youth, the program could mean the difference between a lifetime of hardship and a chance to get their lives on track at a crucial age. "The safety net for these young people is so thin," Lemley noted. "You might have one person, you might have another. But then the winds of change blow and suddenly the bloom falls off the rose."

Our 44th Anniversary Issue also includes stories by Sarah Phelan on SF's disadvantaged youth, Caitlin Donohue's account of the Haight street kids, and Tim Redmond's editorial on the issues facing our rising generation

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