Take What You Need, Give What You Can
When the local protests over the murder of George Floyd began in May of 2020, it quickly inspired a global protest movement against police brutality and racial inequality. Aurora Adams was inspired to take to the streets alongside individuals who shared similar values to help people who were organizing for change. Adams engaged her first responder skills, developed during her enlistment in the National Guard, to provide emergency care for individuals who were harmed by CS Gas, rubber bullets and generalized violence.
Throughout the protests, Adams’ peers noticed her leadership under pressure and encouraged her to consider a medical career. Her dream of becoming a nurse was ignited and in the fall of 2020, she enrolled in pre-nursing at Minneapolis College. She quickly completed the Nursing Assistant/Home Health Aid (NAHA) program to be a more competitive applicant and is now working through what she describes as a mountain of math and science courses.
Resource and Referral Center
A few months into her college career, Adams’ housing shifted suddenly and she was directed to the Resource and Referral Center. The Center provides referrals, direct service and outside agency coordination to connect students to community and government agencies, healthcare providers and other partner organizations to address their immediate and/or long-term goals. Aurora was able to secure housing through someone she knew in the queer community and access food through the Resource and Referral Center.
“I wouldn’t have been able to make it without the support services provided on campus,” said Adams, who believes access to education and the sharing of resources is the spirit of the Minneapolis community. “It’s our responsibility to help people when we can and recognize that each human has intrinsic value.” Adams knows the individuals who rely on community resources are more similar to the people who are not accessing resources than we’d think. It’s the mom pushing the stroller down the sidewalk, the person who walked past you in the park and the individual rolling down the sidewalk on wheels.
Taking Care of Her Community
Helping others is always top of mind for Aurora who has experienced being houseless two times in her life. She also chose to work full-time following high school instead of pursuing a college education so she could help her parents pay their mortgage. Today, you will find her hosting a hungry friend for dinner, advocating for people experiencing mental illness and addiction, sharing her knowledge of community resources and encouraging policy change.
“There’s always more to be done,” said Adams, a constant advocate who wanted to ensure people who don’t have air conditioning, are un-housed or living in the encampments knew the Sanctuary Supply Depot. “My heart goes out to people trying to stay cool through the heat wave. That’s their focus. It’s about taking what you need and giving what you can. ”