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When a gnawing crack addiction engulfed Andy's * life almost two decades ago, he abandoned family and friends. He was sleeping on park benches in Chicago's exclusive Gold Coast area when another homeless man suggested he earn an easy $250 from a car that sidled to the curb. To feed the drug habit, Andy gave it a try and began selling his body to gay men at night.
"It gave me a false sense of feeling good about myself," he says. "Guys driving around in big, expensive cars, staring at me and wanting to pay for my services ... I wouldn't feel so ugly when they picked me up. Before I'd feel like the ugliest thing in the world--the ugly, homeless drug addict."
During a typical month Andy and about 40 other hustlers (prostituting men) enjoy reprieve from the streets at Emmaus Ministries. In the basement drop-in center, Andy finds hot showers, laundry facilities, home-cooked meals, Bible studies, and people such as founder John Green who care whether he lives or dies.
Male prostitution is a hidden but rising trend in American cities. Men comprised 4 in 10 prostitution arrests in 1998, more than double what the FBI reported in 1970. In Chicago, police arrest about 3,000 men and 5,000 women a year for prostitution. John attributes this increase to the growing gay community and continuing breakdown of families.
Andy once ran a …