Youth experiencing homelessness seek healing in George Floyd death anniversary BBQ

A roundtable discussion at YouthLink about community trauma one year after the death of George Floyd. 

As a young person experiencing homelessness, Jabril Jones says YouthLink is a safe place to be himself. Tuesday, he got together with other young people like him to mark a major milestone. 

The drop-in center for homeless youth hosted a barbecue to remember George Floyd on the one-year anniversary of his death. They also recognized other lives lost to law enforcement. 

"I believe I’ve had trauma, but more importantly my community has had trauma and that traumatizes me," Jones said. "To see my brothers and sisters out here, they are no longer living or no longer with us. That traumatizes all of us." 

In addition to food, the group gathered in a healing circle to help recover from the trauma of both Floyd’s murder and their own personal histories. 

"I hope people take away healing," said Jasmine Greene, of YouthLink. "Learning to go within, doing trauma work, breaking those generational curses and traumas. I think it’s important for people to know we are here for them. 

Jones says the conviction of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin means justice was served, but he believes when it comes to racial inequities and injustices broadly, there is more healing to do. 

"Just the fact that we did get justice and no more people have to die on that officer’s watch is enough for me to be here today," Jones said.