The Role of Relationships in
of Homeless and Runaway
Matthew Paradise, Ana Mari Caucea, Joshua Ginzler, Sarah Wertb, Kevin Wruck, and Matthew Brooker
University of Washington
Susan was 15 years old, had been sitting on the sidewalk asking for spare change, and
had just come into town the night before. She had been traveling around the
northwest for three months and was now hoping that she could find medical services,
food, and a place to stay. Susan hadn–t eaten in two days and the only clothes she had
were the ones she was wearing.
Her father died when she was a toddler and her mother had numerous live-in
boyfriends while Susan was growing up. Because of the short-lived nature of her
mother–s romantic relationships, her family moved three to four times a year
throughout her childhood. With each new living situation, Susan had hopes of
stability and a sense of a family. After years of constant relocation, changing schools,
and making new friends, Susan–s mother decided to get married. Susan was happy
about the prospect of living as a [real] family.
a The first two authors contributed equally to this chapter.
b Now at Yale University.