We believe in the power of storytelling and the importance of investing in the future by sharing those stories – whether they are stories of successful community ventures or lessons learned from stories of things you wish happened just a little bit differently. These are the stories of communities working together for the common good. This article is part of “We Are Here: Housing Insecurity in Cincinnati,” a series produced by Women of Cincy and originally published at womenofcincy.org/housing.
Interview by Kiersten Feuchter. Photography by Angie Lipscomb. | Amid the bustle of Cassy and Tessa doing housework and making grilled cheeses; girls knocking on the door of the tiny-but-lively home and heading straight to the kitchen for cookies; and our team gathering around the kitchen table to get to know Mercedes and Kay, Steph stays stretched out on the couch watching a movie. I drift over to see if I can get to know her. We somehow get on the subject of how much it sucks when you pour your cereal and there’s no milk in the fridge – now there’s something we can all relate to – before I ask her a little more about herself.
Have you lived in Price Hill all your life?
Yeah. It’s home. It’s not good.
It’s just not.
And yet, it still feels like home.
Yeah. ’Cause I know this is where I’ll always come back to.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
You like to argue?
Yeah. [Laughing.] My mom used to say I’d argue till I was blue in the face.
What do you hope for now?
Just getting through the day?
Would you want to share your story with us?
That’s okay. This place is really cool.
I love this place. If this house wasn’t here, a lot of us wouldn’t know what to do. We wish that they had a place like this that was open all night long, ’cause a lot of us don’t have nowhere to stay.
Do you come here every day?
Yep. Yeah, there’s usually girls laying everywhere. Monday and Tuesdays, they’re open from 10 until 4, so a lot of the girls we get here at 10 o’clock and we don’t leave until 4.
Does this feel like home?
It’s the most confident answer she’s given – without hesitation. It’s not enough, but it’s something.