“Unless you’re homeless, nobody really knows what it’s like to be homeless.”
Kemi was 19 when she ran away, which started a three-year journey with homelessness. She experienced sexual and emotional abuse from her family, and she made the choice to leave home for her own personal safety.
“Just because somebody’s homeless doesn’t mean they’re a bad person. It just means they had a lot of stuff to deal with and nowhere else to go.”
While people’s experiences with shelters can vary, Kemi considers shelters to be a safe haven. People (who she describes as “sunshine”) gave her clothes, other essentials, and showed her kindness.
“Those are the types of actions I’d like to carry on.”
Kemi is currently in supportive housing and is a NYC Youth Action Board member. When she’s not advocating for change, she can be found writing, listening to all kinds of music (from pop to jazz), and enjoying a good non-fiction book.