Angie’s helps women overcomePublished 10:36pm Monday, April 22, 2013
About a dozen clients of the YWCA’s Women in Crisis shelter got makeovers Monday from the staff at Angie’s House of Beauty on Portsmouth Boulevard.
“I am very excited,” said one resident of the shelter named Sheila, who did not want her last name used. “I have never been pampered. I’m happy to get my hair done professionally and look professional. I’m headed tomorrow for a job interview.”
The shelter clients, who included formerly homeless women as well as domestic violence victims, received shampoos, hairdos, facials, makeup and other services for free at the salon. Employee Tenisha Johnson came up with the idea, because she was once in their shoes.
“In 2007, I was assaulted by my baby’s father,” she said. The hospital sent her to a Chesapeake crisis center, which conducted a similar program during her time there.
“They made me feel so good,” she said. “I just wanted to be able to give back and let them know it’s going to be OK.”
“We wanted to give back some of the blessings God has given us,” salon owner Angie Smith added.
Ellen Knight, a crisis counselor at the YWCA center, said beauticians are in a unique position, because they often have the confidence of women they may not know well, if at all. A program called Cut It Out gives beauticians tips on what to do if a woman opens up to them, signs of abuse — such as bald spots or bruises on their head — others may not be able to see and ways they and their clients can support their local woman’s shelter.
Knight said the program is important, because it helps the women feel better about themselves. She, too, was a victim of domestic violence before she later volunteered at the center and then began working there.
“You have to do something to help boost your self-esteem,” she said. “They’re just looking for a place to lay their head. By the time they leave the shelter, most of them find housing, most of them find jobs. We empower one another.”
The staff at Angie’s House of Beauty who helped with the event, in addition to Smith and Johnson, were Telisha Goodman, Shirelle Lee and Rashidah Bennett. Client Renee Battle did makeup, and Tonja Verne donated food.