The following is a speech given by Danae, a tenant of 66 West during the August 3 Grand Opening celebration.
I’m Danae and I’m 19 years old. I was born in Minneapolis, MN. I bounced around the Twin Cities the majority of my life before I found my home at 66 West. I’m currently finishing high school and am a Youth Advocate Intern for both Oasis for Youth and The Waite House.
My ambitions in life are to take care of my family, conquer my past traumas with peace and to help others overcome their own hardships.
For me, being here means something or someone out there believes in me. It means I have a safe space to brainstorm and also lay my head. It means I get to learn how to be a part of a community. It means my mental and spiritual being has room to grow into a responsible, resilient and resolute adult.
"For me, being here means something or someone out there believes in me."
-Danae, a tenant of 66 West Apartments
The first time I saw my apartment it showed me how far I’ve come. The last two years of my life have been super rough. Being here is stable. I feel safe.
Homelessness really goes unnoticed – people don’t see it. We’re good at putting masks on, these smiles on our faces. By the time we’re older our heads are messed up. Who do we trust, we do we go to? We were forced to grow up fast and people don’t understand what that’s like.
I plan on going to college. I haven’t decided exactly what for. I know I want to work with you. I want to do something big – like this – build something like this, throw a bunch of kids in there and make them act right !
Photo credit: Rebecca Slater, By Rebecca Studios.