The Co-op was there for me

Name: Hannah Campbell

Period: Early 2000s

Best of Dinkytown? Purple Onion, the original location

What does the Co-op mean to you?
At the time I moved into the Co-op in the early 2000’s I had been religiously shunned by my working-poor class family for coming out as Queer. I had been on my own for a couple of years, fully supporting myself since 16. I was in the middle of my undergraduate degrees at the University of Minnesota. I had been desperately trying to find affordable housing close to the University campus and to my several jobs. In the Co-op I found incredibly high-quality housing where I felt safe, that I could also afford while I was working through college and supporting myself.

I discovered the Co-op was so much more than that, which was incredible in its own right, in an area full of luxury apartments and slumlords. It was a group of people who generally cared about each other and the community around them. If I needed advice or help, there was always someone. I could be a part of something greater with others, it was a really difficult time in my life, and I feel so grateful to have landed there. It wasn’t easy and I made my share of mistakes, but I learned so much from the people at the Co-op about living cooperatively, how to help others, and how to let them help me.