The 15-year-old told his parents he didn’t want to live under their roof and their rules. He took off with people he didn’t know — people he met through the website Runaway Guide. It gives a step-by-step explanation through the process of packing a bag and finding cheap room and board.
“I think it’s sickening. I can’t believe somebody would put something like that up (online) to help kids be able to do such a thing,” Jon Chrysler, Jonathan’s dad, said.
The website is written by a young man who ran away when he was 16. He glamorizes the homeless lifestyle and claims you can travel the world. In response to our coverage of the site, site author and travel blogger Leif, responds here.
Melinda Giovengo, executive director at YouthCare, said the streets are full of dangers for kids.
“The longer you’re out there, the more victimized you’re going to be, the more abused you’re going be, and the more desperate you’re going to get to figure out a way to survive,” she said.
Giovengo is upset a site like that even exists.
“You know, it actually makes me really sad, really sad, that someone would have this kind of information out there to lure young people out to the streets.”
The Chryslers want to get the word out to parents about the site, and they want their son to get this message.
“There’s nothing he can do or say that is going to make me love him any less, and (I ask) for him to please come home,” Jonathan’s mom, Tiffani, said.