Eleven-year-old Clay Garrity is on his own. His father lost his job and left the family. Now Clay's mother is gone from their welfare hotel. Clay is homeless and out on the streets of New York. In the park he meets two homeless men. Buddy and Calvin become Clay's new family during those harsh winter weeks. But the streets are filled with danger and despair. If Clay leaves the streets he may never find his parents again. But if he stays on the streets he may not survive at all.