(Note: This interview was done last year at the Eddy House's Yosemite Place, which has since closed, but will reopen with a new model soon. The Yosemite Place, run by Lynette and Brian Eddy, offered a safe place in Reno for young men transitioning out of the foster care system. Daniel was one of the young men living there.)
Daniel moved to the Reno area from San Francisco when he was 8, but as his parents separated his life took some very difficult turns. Daniel suffered from drug and alcohol abuse during his teen years. His mother passed away recently, sending him into an even more difficult spiral. Art has always been a salvation for him, and he dreams of one day becoming a fashion designer in Europe. At the time of the interview, he worked the graveyard shift at a Walmart, but spent some of his spare time painting sneakers with pop culture designs. His nickname comes from his afro, his natural energy and his abilities at video games.
On His Difficult Path: “I got into the foster care system due to drinking, alcoholism. I used to be into drugs when I was in high school. Once I got out of foster care and got into independent living it was just hard. I’d never been through that. That’s why I came back to the Eddy House. I looked for help and I sought guidance. I just knew it was the right thing for me to do.”
On His Mom : “I wasn’t able to get reunited with my mom unfortunately. I feel like she’s happy that I’m happy. It was a real 360. The Eddy House they changed a lot for me and I thank them. Everyone needs a helping hand once in a while.”
On Lynette and Brian Eddy: “If there were more people like Lynette and Brian? It would be different. They’re very helpful, loving and positive. They love to make change. They enjoy when they see someone else succeed. If more people got into that, they would feel more at ease. There’s a lot of kids who need role models and guidance to help them. Without them, I’d be lost.”
On His Own Art and Dreams: “I want to be a European fashion designer eventually. I’ve always been in love with shoes. So I just decided to take my art to a different canvas. Hopefully, it will lead to something in the future. I’m rising now. My dream in the fashion game is to make custom designs for celebrities, anybody, presidents… I just love for people wearing what I create.”
On the Importance of Helping Others: “The youth is our future and there’s a lot of kids right now that don’t have anything. They’ve been dealt a bad hand and they are just trying to reverse it and get a better outcome. If you have something to look forward to, it makes life worth the adventure. Since I grew up with homeless kids, I want to redirect them. I got helped. I was about to be homeless if I wasn’t here. You can get back on track, you can get going, get a job, get a house, and you can also help others.”