Shasta and daughter, Asia’nay “I want to go to cosmetology school at Pima Community College. I want to be a good woman who lives with no stress and worries. I want my daughter to grow into a beautiful woman who achieves her own goals.
“We are expecting a baby in July. I want our baby to be healthy & our family to be stable. One of my children has a medical condition that was just diagnosed & he is now 10 years old. We both have children and this is our first child together. We are on a housing program and we are told that it will take 18-24 months to get a home. What do people do in the meantime? All that a lot of us in the middle class are trying to do is support our family.”
What are your hopes and dreams for the future? “I want to stay a practicing attorney and make a difference.” How's that? “Right now, people don't have access to the courts and understanding the laws. People don't understand how laws are made and how laws impact the individual. I want to create a way to change that so people have access.”
What are your hopes for your future? “I want to contribute to the world. The ultimate goal is to continue living my life this way and I would like to be traveling and doing this for as long as I can.” The young women asked her how she began her travels. “I simply decided to leave. It's a decision. It is easier to do than you think.” I told her that she IS contributing to the world. By following her heart, she is inspiring every one they meet to do the same.
“I would like to live closer to the buses. I love riding the bus. I have been riding the bus for 22 years. Sometimes my daughter drives me but I ride the bus a lot. I came from Mexico many years ago but I know Tucson well by riding the buses. Even if I get lost on the bus route, I know where I am. I meet a lot of people.”
Where are you going? “I'm taking myself to detox. I relapsed on heroin.” That is incredibly brave of you. “Yes, it is.” Do you have kids? “Yes, I have 3 kids. My mom is taking care of them while I get my life in order.” What are you hopes for your future? “I want to be successful at whatever I put my mind to. I hope to have a beauty shop." What are your dreams for your children? “I want my kids to be proud of me and grow up with confidence so they can do whatever they want to in this life.”
“I want for all of us to be safe in the United States.” His friend piped in.....”and to take care of some woman.” We all laugh and Phillip continues: “I believe that our security measures are lax. I am concerned about a lot of people's security including our athletes that are over in Russia right now for the Olympics. I also want all of us to respect humanity and be good to each other.”
“I met someone and we moved in together. I paid for my half of rent but he didn't. He left me stranded. Other stuff happened....my mom died. I ended up in the hospital. I lost my apartment and ¾ of my possessions. I'm starting all over.” I would like to be a famous artist. Some of my art was in an art gallery so it was safe. A friend kept some of my supplies.” Please don't ever give up. Hold on to your dreams. “That's right. I'm not giving up.”
“I want to run a multi-use business in Yuma within the next couple years. It will have activities and businesses like art, music, poetry, t-shirt screening and a coffee shop. Yuma is one of the only cities in Arizona located near the Colorado River, the only natural water source. Think about it, across history, cities were culturally rich around a water source. The city of the future is located in a geographically important place and Yuma is one such place.”
“Personally, I want to move to Los Angeles with a degree to get a job in a leading magazine or broadcast journalism company with an entertainment emphasis. On a broader scale, I want to spread love and compassion and move forward in a positive motion. I used to be a very negative person and I turned that attitude around. I want to help others realize that they can do the same. By being positive, having love and compassion....this is how we effect change.”
You look so colorful and lovely! What are your hopes for your future? “Well, I don't have family here. I want to lead my life well. I'm not the sort to stay home sitting in front of the TV. I get out, go to church, the senior center and other places. I just want to be happy and enjoy myself. I have a long time left so I want to enjoy myself.”
“My dream is to help people with drug addiction. I’ve been sober for 2 years. I notice that the resources aren’t out there as much as they should be. What do you do, for example, when it is 2 a.m. and you have a trigger to use drugs? You can go to the CRC (Crisis Response Center) but people aren’t going to get help unless they are suicidal or homicidal. People are afraid to be locked up when all they want is help. We need to be more open and get the community involved.”
“I am happy where I am. I am a retired nurse. Everett and I have been together 26 years. I can’t believe it; I never thought I’d find love.” 26 years! That is amazing! What is your advice for love? How do you guys make it work so well for so long? “A relationship is not take and take and take. It’s give and take. It’s seeing each other for who we are. We are always doing something for each other without being asked.”
“My hopes for the community are that I would like the community to do more for the homeless. I know what it is like. I lost my job due to being laid off. It took a year for my Social Security to be activated. During that time I lived on the street. I ate out of garbage cans and I slept under a bridge. I was so scared to go to sleep.”
“I hope we have a good future. I hope me and my baby's dad reconcile. He's a dick. You can write that down. If he saw my words in print he'd agree that he is. I'm in a housing program. I want to go to school to become a veterinarian technician. Eventually, I want for my baby and to have bigger goals such as going to Colorado to become a full veterinarian.”