My sister, Yaritza Rollan (better known as Yaya ) dedicated her entire life to the arts. She tattooed, painted, drew, created murals and even got into Cosmetology. She began participating in local gallery events right out of high school, got herself into tattoo apprenticing all on her own and paved her own path to what would have been a bright future in the art world.
Sadly, she immediately met and became influenced by the darker figures of this profession and began a slow decline into opiate addiction. Nevertheless, she always held on tight to her art, still tattooed and still worked hard to stay on the path of her dreams regardless of her struggles. Sadly, the ten-year battle with drug addiction claimed her life December 28, 2019. That was the day another shining light in an otherwise grim world ceased to shimmer.
Her struggle was not in vain from where I see it. In the aftermath of her passing I learned how much she inspired those around her, especially at local community treatment center, Jesse Trice Jefferson Reaves House . In her worst moments (whether of her own accord or not) she always found a way to get clean again. Reaves house might have been her last stop on this earth, but it is certainly only one of many stops in her new journey across the universe.
Yaya por Vida has integrated work in the areas of harm reduction supplies, especially for our houseless SUD victims living on the streets with limited access to care. Meals, clothing, harm reduction with Naloxone kits, overdose reversal training, medical street team access, on site recovery peer support, community clean up, referral navigation for housing, medical, mental health, case management, sterile syringe programs, reproductive, sexual and emergency aid as well as access to alternative form of SUD healing (art as healing, all recovery meetings, etc.). Care kit drives are conducted 5 times a month (Miami Beach, Overtown, Stuart, Ft. Pierce and Downtown Ft. Pierce). Since our first drive in September 2020, we have passed out a total of 4952 care kits and 110 saved lives thanks to our participants using our Naloxone to revive a bystander or friend.
- 3 Outreach stops added - 2915 served across all 5 stops so far
- Compass Gilead University of Houston LEARN Harm Reduction Cohort and Grant Recipient
- Launched our Artist Collective during International Overdose Awareness Day with our first community awareness mural in Wynwood
- Launched HIV/AIDS Community Action Board
- Mentor for Yale SASH LAB Youth Opioid Use Disorder Policy Board
- Board Member for Decrim305 - a queer, BIPOC, sex-worker led org where we serve as fiscal sponsors
- Launched our Music as Healing Rehab and Street Edition
- Re Wrote By Laws and Opened all Board Meetings to the public as part of our new community transparency initiative
- Community Action Board Member for Florida Harm Reduction Collective
- Collegiate Spring Break Harm Reduction Training with Boudoin College Alternative Breaks
- Collegiate engagement through bi yearly social justice art contests, overdose prevention training, recovery ally training, volunteer training, harm reduction training and HIV/AIDS sensitivity training.
- Opened our Treasure Coast Brick and Motor 11/2023 with Miami Dade opening 2024
- Fiscal Sponsor : Decrim305 AHF We the People March fund recipients
- Keynote Speakers for 2nd Annual Harm Reduction Conference BIPOC panel
Yaya Por Vida improves the quality of life of people who use drugs and those who suffer from substance use disorder, by providing education and access to resources with the stroke of a paintbrush.