An Interview With Aza

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Where did you grow up, and what brought you to Minneapolis?

I grew up in Chicago. I moved here because friends told me that Minnesota would have more opportunities for jobs and getting ahead in life than Chicago did.

How long have you been experiencing homelessness?

For the past three years. I got kicked out of my mom’s place three years ago and have been unstable since then.

What is the hardest thing about being unstably housed?

Getting by everyday and trying to figure out a plan when things are already so unstable.

What is one thing you wish people understood about youth homelessness?

That not all homeless youth are bad. A lot of us are trying to do stuff and get our lives together but people think we aren’t. There is a difference between those of us trying to get out and those that aren’t. We’re not bad.

What is a little known fact about yourself?

I’m goofy.

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How do you like working for Wildflyer Coffee and how has it helped you?

It’s great! It makes me feel like people have respect for me and care about me. I’m not treated poorly or like I’m dumb. It’s a good place to figure out skills for future jobs.

What is your favorite memory from working with us?

When Ben was running around Linden Hills Farmers Market in his fake cape.

what inspires you to work for a better life?

My daughter.

What is your dream for your life?

To become a chef and make sure my family is okay.

What do you want the world to know about you?

That I’ve worked really hard to get to where I am, and I’ve fought through a lot.

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