Down and Out on
Teens are expected to push limits and approach life with a certain impetuousness. But many more teens are growing up without the stability of a home. The young are among the fastest growing groups of homeless. Each year, 2.8 million teens run away, more than 60 percent of whom left home because of physical or sexual abuse.
Kevin Weinstein began photographing runaways on Polk Street in San Francisco's Tenderloin District when he was in art school. He was only 22 at the time, and his photographs express the stormy vitality of adolescence, when the future is an afterthought. At the same time, the stark world of the street is ever present. Here, there really is no future.
Weinstein is now a staff photojournalist for Copley's Sun Publications near Chicago. His story about street kids won first place in the documentary category for College Photographer of the Year in 1994. Most recently, he received a grant from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture to do a project on Ethiopian Jews in Israel.
Kristin Kolb-Angelbeck talked to Weinstein about his experiences with runaways on Polk Street.