I am constantly inspired by the incredible women I meet on the streets. Yvone is absolutely no exception, as she has one of the most brilliant minds, creative souls, and vibrant boss-lady attitudes I have ever seen. Yvone is extremely proud of her heritage, as it is what makes her unique. A beautiful product of a Jewish father and an Indian mother, she shows resemblance from both parents and her unique look is what makes her so beautiful. Yvone was born in Alabama to two incredibly loving parents who simply wanted what was best for her. Alabama is where she got her southern charm, until her family packed up and moved to Brooklyn, New York. Brooklyn is where Yvone developed a sense of self-leadership, attitude, standing up for what she believes in, and the street smarts that now keep her alive.

While Yvone was growing up, her parents constantly stressed the importance of getting an education and keeping your standards high. She held to this word by attending college to study business and joining the workforce. Yvone worked a large variety of jobs including working as a home economics teacher, a secretary, and various positions in politics. She mentioned that when she was working in these industries, the world was a different place filled with racism, but she never let this hold her back. Even with so much on her plate, Yvone made time to have three beautiful children. Yvone was later diagnosed with lung cancer and the bills began to rack up, leaving her out of money with nowhere to go.

Today Yvone is staying at Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS) working as a live-in volunteer who contributes to the campus while also living there. She is extremely grateful for the opportunity to be safe within the shelter and not having to live on the streets. Yvone has previous suffered while living on the streets having to deal with sexual assault, being attacked, and having things stolen from her. She had to live in fear each and every day constantly worrying about surviving another day. During her time on the streets, Yvone was involved in a hit and run accident where she was hit by a SUV and left for dead. She was then placed in a hospital to heal, where she had a life realization and rekindled a relationship with God.

I would like to personally thank Yvone for taking the time to volunteer her story with me. It takes a real warrior to go through what you have, and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to get to know you. You are such a special individual and I truly wish nothing but the absolute best for you because you deserve it.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

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