Once a month, the Giving Hands Beauty Salon in Tampa, Florida, close their doors to their paying customers to offer their services to a different kind of people.
Owner Vanessa Howard is flocked by her five daughters and some volunteers as they begin their prayer. That day, the Giving Hands Beauty Salon, is opening their doors to homeless women so they could get a day of pampering for free.
‘”I was once homeless and I was suicidal when I was homeless with three children. I didn’t have a place to go,” she recounted. But Vanessa found her way back to her faith and decided to make her salon business as part of her ministry.
“It was by faith that I opened up the salon because I really didn’t have the money, but I had the faith and passion to give back to women who are less fortunate and women who need that uplift in their spirit and women who need to feel good about their self and want to be built up in their confidence and show forth the love of God and to inspire and empower these women,” she shared.
Called a “spiritual spa days for the homeless,” Giving Hands Beauty Salon welcomes five to seven homeless or less-fortunate women and gives them free makeovers. The makeovers include services such as haircut, manicure, facials and other things they may need.
Since her salon opened in May 2014, an estimated 50 women have availed the free services during these spiritual spa days. Around 95 percent of these have also moved forward with their lives and have gotten jobs.
But Vanessa did not limit her free services to adults.
In 2014, her salon hosted a “back-to-school” princess spa days for girls who were at the honor list in the Metropolitan Ministries shelter. The kids were then given free uniforms and some school supplies.
According to Vanessa, “It’s not easy to do this every month. But every month, we’re driven by the passion of seeing their lives from the inside out.”