This page is dedicated to all of the souls that passed through MacLaren Hall, a child "protection" institution in Los Angeles County that was open from the 1950's to 2003. We have begun organizing survivors and also have begun to write our experiences down so that what we saw is NEVER repeated on children again. If you are an adult survivor of Mac Hall, we invite you to join our email list at http://lists.riseup.net/www/info/machallsurvivors, and we are looking for more survivors' stories to eventually publish in a book. If you have a Mac Hall story, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about getting your story posted on this site.
Below are some of the stories of Mac Hall kids:
The following is a poem written by a MacLaren Hall survivor:
Trials of Life
by Christopher W.
Here I am at 9 years old
I have lost my family and my home.
Alone and raging at the slightest whim,
Losing all hope I've held within.
No more childish dreams to call my own
I have lost my dreams and now I roam.
From family to family they shift me around,
not a single caring one can be found.
Here I am at 10 years old.
Still without my family and my home
I wonder why no one wants me. What have I done?
So in a boy's home is now where I run.
I do not run for the fun of the game,
I run from the older boy's rage, that he cannot contain.
He tries to sneak into my room, to beat me at night.
I kick the door closed to avoid the fight.
The boy's head caught in the door.
He sits there screaming on the floor.
Can't they understand I just want to be left alone?
I don't want to hurt them, I just want my home.
The counselors come running and of course I am blamed.
For this 15 year old boy, who's rage cannot be contained.
Here I am at 12 years old,
Mc Larin Hall is now my home.
I think this time I was truly blessed,
my hardened heart has passed the test.
No one here dares mess with me,
No longer afraid, now I see.
No more nightly visits of the past.
To earn their respect I will kick their ass
I am the toughest kid in this place,
No one wants to challenge me to take my place.
Here I am, now 14.
I remember all that's been done and all I've seen.
I've met a girl she's 16.
She softens my heart and makes it clean.
Nothing in life would I not give.
Just to remain near her for as long as I live.
A few months have past and our love has grown.
But now she has the chance to make it home.
I don't blame her for the choice she made.
But my feelings for her will still not fade.
Finally I am told I can go home,
I arrive there and still feel alone.
So out my window and on top of the house,
I write her poetry quiet as a mouse.
A broken heart and a shattered life,
my heart hardened by the strife.
No longer sure what I should do.
Every poem I write says I still love you.
MacLaren Hall Survivor Email List
You can join the MacLaren Hall Survivors Email List/Community by going to http://lists.riseup.net/www/info/machallsurvivors.