Jevetta Steele is an international performer and has sung soulful music with some of the most well-known stars on the planet. However, her life-changing moment was when she decided to “check out” the Dignity Center as a client in need, looking for resources to become self-sustaining. “Sometimes you must put yourself in the middle of a situation and view experiences in a real-life situation to truly see how lives are impacted.” said Jevetta. “I had heard of the Dignity Center from a colleague and decided to show up at their office on a Monday morning, posing as a person who was interested in being a part of the program. I was a bit apprehensive at first, but was welcomed with open arms and a warm smile. I felt empathy and a connection to the people right away,” she said.
As Jevetta entered the office, she was offered a sandwich, some coffee and cookies. Jevetta told of how she had a one-on-one conversation with an advocate, to find out her needs and how they could be of service. She purposefully held back and was indecisive in her mannerisms, just to observe the Dignity Center as it would be in a real-life situation. They were patient with her, empathetic and gave her time and ideas to ponder as she left. She told them she would get back to them in the next few days about her decision.
Jevetta believes in her heart, what she experienced that day, changed her life. She called back the next day and revealed herself. She talked to Ann Carlson, Director of the Dignity Center, and shared her story. She also inquired about how to become a Dignity Center volunteer as a receptionist. Jevetta enjoys getting to know the people and has volunteered for 6 years. She is now an advocate and is honored to give a hand up to instill dignity back into the lives of people. “We are such a reactive society, and that needs to change. I am proud to say I am part of the proactive movement within our society, which is the Dignity Center at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church,” said Jevetta. “I have seen people that have been chronically homeless, jobless and have nearly lost hope, take hold of their lives and become self-sustaining. It is a powerful transformation to be a part of and to witness in person.”
Jevetta will be giving back and performing at the “Dignity for All” Concert on September 24 along with Yolande Bruce, Maria Jette, Molly Sue McDonald, Bradley Greenwald, Ginger Commodore, Simone Perrine and more under the direction of Philip Brunelle.