This month staff said goodbye to *Kia, a young woman who has lived in and out of shelters her whole life. She's been at Minneapolis Avenues since December, and just moved to Los Angeles to start her freshman year of college. We're proud to share that she received scholarships and tuition assistance to cover all her tuition and housing. Below is her story.
"I've never felt stable. I've lived everywhere. I've done a lot of moving in my life.
My mom works all the time. She's never home, she does her own thing.
My sisters would come over to our house and leave their kids with me so I couldn't go to school. I'd be stuck watching their babies.
I felt like it was a generational curse. Poverty plays a role in it.
Abuse, anger, hate rage - it's not like I've always felt unsafe in my home, but at that I point in my life I didn't feel safe. I needed to get out. If I didn't get out I wouldn't have had the opportunities I have today. I would be repeating the cycle.
I called Avenues on December 21, stayed in the emergency bed that night, and the next day when I was at school I got a phone call from Miss Sheila saying that there was a place for me at Avenues. I was just like oh thank you Jesus. Sometime you don't understand why but it works out.
My time here, oh my goodness, I just thank God for the opportunity. The resources here are great. The therapist was really cool. There was always food in the refrigerator. That surprised me. I've never starved, but I remember times not having enough food. I could cook whenever I wanted to at Avenues.
I've lived in shelters multiple times. I know what they feel like. It feels like chaos, cold and wet. Avenues was warm. It felt like home. God had a reason - everything happens for a reason."
*The youth's name has been changed.