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Organization Helps Homeless Children

Rick Koca created a nonprofit organization designed to help homeless children across the country. He is nominated for the Purpose Prize, which honors retirees who initiate social programs.

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    Now, another in our series of profiles of Purpose Prize nominees. The prize is awarded to people who began new social enterprises after retiring. Tonight, special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro reports on one man's efforts to help homeless youth.

  • FRED DE SAM LAZARO, NewsHour Correspondent:

    In the shadow of San Diego's gleaming downtown, behind the chain link and shrubs, are haunts only a few homeless people know.

    RICK KOCA, StandUp for Kids: Hello. Anybody here?


    And Rick Koca wants to keep it that way.


    Got some nice candles. I see kids' clothes mostly. It's a kid, at least a couple of kids. I don't necessarily want to say where this place is. I don't want people to come and hurt them or anything else when they're sleeping.


    Except to the adults who prey on them, Rick Koca says homeless kids are largely invisible in society, even though they number some 1.3 million.


    If there's one thing that I hear over and over and over, it's, "Oh, my goodness I didn't know there were homeless kids on the streets by themselves. I see the adults. I never see the kids." Well, we don't see the kids — first of all, we're probably not looking. And then, I don't know what we're looking for. They don't look any different than you or I.