In 2017, at 18 years old, Kachina found herself homeless. She first went to Hope Street, a partner shelter in South Minneapolis, where she could stay for 90 days. After leaving there, she found a place to sleep through the Facebook group Queer Exchange for a couple of weeks, then it was back to Hope Street for another few months. She stayed with a family in Eden Prairie for about four months through the Host Home project, and then moved in to Brooklyn Avenues for another couple of months. In the meantime, she started working at Juxtaposition Arts.
All in all, it was a busy year.
“I never felt super unsafe and I never was out on the street,” she said. “I was just looking for stability.”
At Rita’s House, she’s found it.
Kachina moved in to Rita’s House at the end of March, and can stay until she turns 22. She will be starting school in the fall for visual arts and entrepreneurship. In the meantime, she’s honing her skills at Juxtaposition Arts, a North Minneapolis organization that employs young artists. She considers herself a Creative Humanitarian.
“Creative freedom and independence are really important to me,” she said. “I just want to help people.”
Living at Rita’s House is giving Kachina the foundation that she needs to pursue her goals. She enjoys living in the quiet leafy neighborhood, and appreciates the support of staff in helping her find resources and plan for college and her future.
By 22, Kachina hopes to move to Atlanta – a city she says is full of black entrepreneurs and artists who inspire her to pursue her dreams.
You can learn more about Kachina at her website, www.kachinahenry.com.
Help support Kachina and youth like her by donating to The Bridge.