Photo Credit: Maureen Simon

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. -Albert Einstein

Having a positive attitude, in spite of the hurdles along the way, is what keeps this bright and determined young woman on the right track.  Instead of dwelling on the past that was filled with fear and despair, Jevia Mae concentrates on today and how she can make it better.

“In a moment’s notice I found myself homeless in 2015,” she explains, “So many things in life can cause you to find yourself alone on the streets; for me it was an unhealthy relationship that I needed to leave.  It wasn’t easy, but I knew there had to be a better way of living in order to survive.”

For ten months Jevia Mae was homeless.  She was determined to stay away from negative situations and people, choosing instead to focus on getting back on her feet and making a difference in life.  She credits this to her belief in God, and the kindness of others, especially those at Room at the Inn, Helpmate Domestic Violence Services and her friends at Glory Tabernacle Church and here at Haywood Street Congregation.

“Being homeless teaches a person many things,” recalls Jevia Mae, “You learn how to be resilient, strong, determined, flexible and grateful.  You also discover walking everywhere is a great way to get in shape:  I lost 87 pounds from the experience.”

One important factor in making a difference for Jevia Mae was finding meaningful work that not only paid the bills, but gave her purpose in life.  She found this by enrolling in the programs at Green Opportunities, a local organization that connects low-income youth and adults to sustained employment with education and on-the-job training in the culinary arts, hospitality field, carpentry, construction, building trade and facilities maintenance.  Jevia Mae found her niche, excelling in the food industry and finding a wonderful fulltime job in the deli at the new Ingles Grocery on Bevard Road.

She encourages others to explore their own opportunities, “There’s so much we can learn and do; it just takes a nudge in the right direction and being open to new adventures.”  For more information on Green Opportunites:  (828)  398-4158

Office:  133 Livingston Street, Asheville  28801

Jevia Mae now has her own apartment and is thrilled to have her beloved miniature German Shepard, Red, back in her arms, thanks to her sister’s generous heart in Hickory.   How wonderful to be together again with her little dog and know just how special “Home Sweet Home” means today.

Story by: Cappy