Landlord Takes A Chance On Hairdresser And She Pays It Forward

August 7th, 2017

Although Vanessa Howard is now a successful salon owner, life wasn’t always so easy for the 62-year-old mother of 5.

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Giving Hands Foundation Facebook Source: Giving Hands Foundation Facebook

In 1997, twenty years ago, Vanessa was a single mother of 3, struggling to pay the bills with no more than $1.75 in her pocket. A victim of domestic violence, Vanessa got pregnant in her teen years, later escaping the “drug infested” home of her childhood. Pregnant and broke, the young mother had no place to go and no one to turn to.

She tells CBS News, “I cried out one day. I was tired of being homeless, tired of being alone, and prayed for help.”

One day after being denied by countless other landlords, she shows up to view an apartment. The owner tells her, “I don’t know you, but I feel like you should have this place.”

Vanessa viewed this act of kindness as a sign, explaining: “It was from there that I found hope and restoration. I just wanted to pay it forward.”

Sixteen years later, she would finally get the opportunity. Having saved enough funds, Vanessa opened the Giving Hands Hair Salon, an operation devoted to giving back to the homeless in the community.

Once per month, the 62-year-old mother of 5, opens her salon up to homeless women, providing them with free makeovers and pampering.

She has been providing these makeovers for the past 4 years.

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Giving Hands Foundation Facebook Source: Giving Hands Foundation Facebook

The salon owner knows the struggles of homelessness, explaining to CBS News, “That’s why I give so hard.”

Most recently, on July 30th, 2017, Vanessa turned her focus towards homeless children, hosting a “Back to School Princess Party” for homeless girls aged 5 to 11.

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Giving Hands Foundation Facebook Source: Giving Hands Foundation Facebook

She tells CBS News, “We want them to feel like a princess for a day. It’s important, especially during their transition. I want them to be confident because if they’re confident they excel.”

During the event, each girl had her hair and nails done, but Vanessa also went the extra mile, explaining:

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Giving Hands Foundation Source: Giving Hands Foundation

“We buy uniforms for when they go back to school, socks, shoes, underwear; everything they need, school supplies… We make sure that when they go back to school, they are confident and they are ready.”

Vanessa hopes her selfless acts will inspire other people to give back to their communities as well, urging, “Whether you’re a business owner— no matter what you do— always look to be a blessing and to help someone.”

Vanessa Howard was homeless, a single mother of three and suicidal.

Thanks to the kindness of a stranger, she turned her life around.

Now she’s working to pay it forward, one makeover at a time with Giving Hands Foundation .

Please share her story…let’s spread the good vibes.


Posted by Laura Harris – The Now Tampa Bay on Wednesday, 2 August 2017

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Source: Laura Harris- The Now Tampa Bay