from homeless to homeowner


Toronto-based entrepreneur Kiana “Rookz” Eastmond talks about how she went from homeless to homeowner by fixing her mindset and dealing with past traumas. Reposted with permission from the author.

Labels. We don’t often talk about the ones we give ourselves; just about the ones that are put onto us. We focus on the voice outside more often than the only one we dictate.

For so many years, I had the means to start this journey, but not the mind. I had been traumatized by being homeless at 15 and the narrative never left me“I belong nowhere. I will never have a home again”.

To be honest, even at my big age, I thought I’d find peace one day by returning to my mother’s home. As I got older and it became more out of the question, I really didn’t know what the word “home” meant to me. I just knew I didn’t want it if I wasn’t going back to the place I last felt whole.

I used to get off planes, first class flights, all the luxuries of a successful career and go and sleep in a room no bigger than a bathroom with a twin bed from IKEA; enough space for a TV, Jada’s bed and a little closet thingy. I always told myself it was because I was building Sandbox. I was willing to make sacrifices (and I was), but really I was scared to build a home because I didn’t want one without my family.

We can go through all kinds of changes, adding responsibilities, without ever transitioning from the moment we were broken. Having to sit still forced me to name myself, and then ask myself if I liked those names. I was in newspapers, on TV, award-winning and homeless inside.

Stillness forced me to look at myself, at my pain, at my fear. I had to reflect and adjust. That led to my first home in September 2020. What I didn’t know was that changing who I saw myself as would lead to me purchasing a second home in September 2021.

When I started to tell people I bought another house they would say, “Wow, you must be making a lot of money now.” Actually, I’m making less money than I have in years, but I was making more deliberate mindset shifts.

Most of what’s stopping you isn’t resources. It’s how you see you as the source. You first have to re-source yourself. So today, I’m asking you what you have named yourself, then to rename yourself and watch everything you do increase.

By Kiana “Rookz” Eastmond

Kiana “Rookz” Eastmond is a Toronto-based entrepreneur, thinker, speaker and community leader, and founder of Sandbox Studios

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