Transforming lives, one haircut at a time - ABC21: Your Weather Authority

Transforming lives, one haircut at a time

Posted: Updated:
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA 21) -

There's excitement about a new way to help homeless women and children by continuing the process of transformation in their lives.

"Homelessness, joblessness, hopelessness, you name it. And I decided that's not what I wanted," says Derricia Walters.

The 24-year-old says she's finally decided to turn her life around, after being caught up in a lifestyle she knew was a dead end.
Three weeks ago, she came to Charis House, the Rescue Mission's women and children's homeless shelter, and hasn't looked back.
Next week, she has an appointment in Charis House's new hair salon called Beauty for Ashes after a Bible verse that Pastor Donovan Coley says means "God restoring life."

"It's a chance to renew the outside while renewing the inside, and I think that's important. Since coming here I've completely started dressing different. I've just been dressing up, makeup, taking more time for myself because I'm relearning how to love myself and within that, my relationship with God," Walters says.

Open six days a week, the salon is staffed by volunteer, certified stylists from the community.
Shirley Williams helped fund raise for two and a half years to bring the salon to fruition, knowing that something as simple as a haircut can provide some dignity.

"Definitely raises their self-esteem and gives them new purpose in life, a change. A change in their appearance changes their perspective inside, as well," Williams says.

The 78-bed Charis House for women and children offers all kinds of programs to help them get back on their feet, including a licensed day care inside, but the salon will help prepare them for the next steps in their lives, like job interviews.

"An operation like this is helping our community take people off of the streets and keeping them safe and giving them hope and purpose for their future. And those of us that already have that, it's awesome for us to pass it on to someone else," Williams says.

Powered by Frankly