I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Chapter 32
Maya wanders around the town for a day, then decides to sleep in a car in a junkyard. She wakes up the next morning and a group of teenagers is peering in at her. She learns that they live in the junkyard, though each of them works low-paying jobs during the day. They forbid stealing, since it might get them put in foster homes or juvenile court. Their money is used communally. Maya spends a month in the yard, learning to drive, swear, and dance. She enters a dancing contest, and she and her partner win second prize. The group is made up of different races, and they are all friends. "I was never again to sense myself to solidly outside the pale of the human race." Chapter 32, pg. 247 Finally, Maya asks her mother to send her money to come home (she thinks Maya is still with her father.) Maya picks the ticket up at the airport. Her mother comments on how thin she's become, and feeds her well. Maya happily decides that Dolores was wrong about her mother.