Gerald Bailey, a new resident at Battery Park Apartments in downtown Asheville recently found himself in need of food assistance and asked the Council on Aging of Buncombe County for help. Gerald has always taken great pride in being self-sufficient but a recent housing change and the COVID pandemic prompted him to seek the assistance.
Gerald’s situation demonstrates the value of services like low-income housing and food support, especially for elderly citizens in need. Born in Cherokee, N.C. Gerald is a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. His mother was a full blooded Cherokee and his father a “Scottish Gypsy.” His parents instilled in him a love of learning and an appreciation for travel that exposed him to variety of cultures around the world. A graduate of Columbia University, Gerald has worked as a teacher, social worker and a community nurse in places like India, Scotland, Turkey and Nepal. He taught English to Tibetan Monks at the Shar Gaden Monastery in Mundgod, India and is himself an ordained Buddhist Monk in the Tibetan tradition by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
After years of working and traveling around the world, Gerald returned to the Cherokee area. He recently found himself in need of affordable housing and started looking at low-income options for seniors. This past December he moved into Battery Park Apartments and states his new home is a “wonderful place for me to live.” Gerald has obtained SNAP benefits and though it is a limited amount, he is thankful because “every little bit can help.” He thanks the Council on Aging and urges anyone who needs assistance to give us a call.