Street-dependent youth deserve recognition for heroic acts

2014-04-08_WC_Building_Collapse_Jonathan

Jonathan Garza

Scaffolding attached to the Regents West on 24th construction site collapsed and trapped a vehicle Monday evening. 

Joseph Mintz

You may have heard about parts of a construction site toppling into the street and trapping passengers inside their car on 24th Street last month, but you probably didn’t hear about the heroism that accompanied the near-disaster. With metal and mortar still falling onto the car, four individuals bravely raced out into the street, lifted debris off the car and helped the passengers to safety. Who were these heroes? Probably not who you’d expect. Their names are Tom, Jeremy, Chris and Taz, and they’re street-dependent youth living in Austin. They were commended by City Hall on Thursday, but they are still not getting the recognition they deserve. Media are used to covering the crime and negative impact made by street-dependent people, but it’s important to note that they too make positive contributions in the community. After all, heroism and bravery come in many forms.

—  Mintz is a political communication senior from Chicago. He has worked with Thursday's honorees through the Street Youth Ministry of Austin.