Oral Histories



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Age when Interviewed: 29

Date of Interview: Spring 2013

Race: Haitian

Gender: Male

Keywords: Housing insecurity, Immigrant, Intergenerational poverty, Food insecurity

ACE Factors: Physical abuse, Sexual abuse, Lack of education

Born in Haiti, Lahens is a Black St. Catherine University staff member who participated in the Voices of Homelessness project.. From birth he experienced housing insecurity and spent part of his childhood in an orphanage, begging at times, and living on the streets. At age 12 he was adopted by Sister Andrea Lee (IHM), former President of St. Catherine University, who helped him immigrate to Michigan and then to Minnesota. Prior to immigrating, he had no education. He went on to obtain an Associate’s Degree from St. Catherine University and a Bachelor’s in Social Work from St. Thomas University. In his interview he discusses his experiences with intergenerational poverty, food insecurity, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and lack of education.