- October 23, 2021
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Women experiencing homelessness will have a place to get their hair cut and styled this fall at the Four Oaks Day Service Center in Newport News.
The Rotary Club of Warwick at City Center made a $1,000 donation to create a beauty salon at the center, which already offers an on-site barbershop for men.
“We wanted to supplement what we do in the barbershop to make sure that our female patrons are also receiving the same type of services,” said Quincy White, executive director of the day service center. “Having the barbershop and the salon will allow our patrons to feel at their best when they’re out in the community.”
Plans for a beauty salon were already in the works, but the monetary donation along with supplies and equipment from the Heart of Giving are making it possible to begin the construction now.
Newport News YouthBuild — an education and construction training program for people ages 16-24 — will help to renovate the room at Four Oaks and transform it into a salon. Members of the YouthBuild program will build cabinets, a seating area and storage as part of a graduation project.
The salon and barbershop are staffed by volunteers from local salons and barbershops. White is in the process of developing a partnership with a barber school and in the future, he’ll look to partner with beauty schools.
The barbershop is open once a week on Tuesday, but White said he’s hoping to be able to find enough volunteers to keep it open three days a week and the salon open twice a week.
“My father always told me when you look good, you feel good and when you feel good, you work hard,” White said. “We want to make sure that our folks feel at their best when they’re going out to job interviews or to look at housing.”
Services are free to people in the area who are homeless. Four Oaks also offers other services including medical checkups, a clothing closet, laundry facilities, storage and a monthly job fair.
The center, at 7401 Warwick Blvd., served about 100 people experiencing homelessness each day before the pandemic, but now it caps its services to about 45 people per day. White said last year the day service center served about 700 different people.
The day service center has provided resources to people from all over the country, White said. A few people made the trip from Florida after learning about its resources and last week a woman from Maine made her way to the city hoping to connect with family and was unsuccessful, so she was connected with Four Oaks.
“The mission for the day center is to become a safe haven for the homeless and a resource for the homeless and to work toward the mission and the vision of the city to eradicate homelessness,” White said. “The mission is to make it a one-stop shop, so if you’re homeless and you come to Four Oaks, you’re going to get connected with all of the different services that you need.”
Jessica Nolte, 757-912-1675, email@example.com