Humans of Minneapolis: Conner, Elliot Park

July 15, 2016 by Chee Xiong

In 2016, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation teamed up with Humans of Minneapolis street documentarian Stephanie Glaros to produce a series of 15 portraits of visitors to Minneapolis neighborhood parks.

Here, we’re re-posting Stephanie’s series of portraits of parks visitors from her Humans of Minneapolis blog. Look for all portraits in the series on this blog – 2016 and, coming soon, 2017 – by clicking on the Humans of Minneapolis category.

Conner, at Elliot Park

This has been my home for the last month. It’s peaceful. By far the safest park I’ve ever been to. You can take a nap without having to watch your stuff. It’s the vibe I get from this park. But I know you’re not supposed to be here after 10pm.

My mom spent eight days in the ICU on life support. She was in a diabetic coma and she had hypothermia. They told me and my sister she had a 4% chance of making it and if she did she’d be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. My grandma had prayer chains out everywhere. The spirit was in the air. My mom made a 90% recovery. Her diabetes is a little worse and she has a little bit of memory loss, but she can walk and talk and live a full life. So there’ve been miracles in my life. But I’ve been homeless ever since ‘cause I lived with my mom and I didn’t have $1250 to pay the rent. They gave me fifteen days to get out, and I was out on the streets.

Technically I’ve a vulnerable adult because I have PTSD. I also have ADHD, severe depression, severe anxiety, and I have bipolar. I ran out of my meds a month and a half ago and my doctor won’t fill them again until I see her. To be honest, when I’m out here, it makes me more vulnerable to make mistakes, like relapsing or getting involved with the wrong people.

I’ve been working with a housing case manager whose been saying he’s gonna get me a subsidized apartment for seven and a half months. I don’t want to rely on my parents because I don’t want to take from them anymore. I want to get my own place, get a part-time job, go to school and live my life. I want to be either a registered nurse, a massage therapist, or an x-ray technician.

How long have you been making artwork?

Since I was young. Because I can’t afford to buy drawing kits, I stick with pencil and pen usually. It takes my mind off all the negative things in my life. I draw about my passions. I draw about things that I’m thinking about or things that are on my bucket list. Everybody sees potential in me, but it’s just hard to find it in myself sometimes.

Listen to Conner’s story:

Images and content are reposted with permission from Stephanie Glaros/Humans of Minneapolis.

 

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