By Danae Gilbert
You can’t know what courage is if you don’t take risks.
Being able to share my voice gives me a newfound courage. Before defeating my own homelessness, standing on stage or watching myself tell my story was only a distant dream. Thanks to Beacon, 66 West and many other believers, my once far off dream is now a reality.
Growing up, I had no choice but to be an adult. I could not always rely on family or friends. There were times I was weak against negative influences and people who didn’t truly have my best interest at heart. I learned to protect myself against things no child or teenager should have to worry about. I don’t want any other child to go through what I went through.
"I don’t want any other child to go through what I went through."
Today, I am surrounded by supportive and caring influences who want nothing more than for me to chase my dreams. I am appreciative of the case workers & advocates who have shown me patience and empathy. I hope I can be that same influence in another young person’s life.
Homelessness among youth and young adults is a growing epidemic that goes unnoticed. This is a wide-spread issue not limited to urban areas. Look at your neighbor. For all you know, the person sitting next you has experienced homelessness or knows someone who has. Not everyone is fortunate enough to grow up in a healthy and safe environment. So many people judge and look past homeless people. However, it takes a community to make change. I’m willing to stick my neck out and be a voice for homelessness people. It’s a risk I’m willing to take. Courage is the resistance against fear.
Photo credit and guest photo credit: Rebecca Slater, By Rebecca Studios.