FORT WORTH, Texas — It’s a simple pleasure to take a trip to the hair salon, but it’s a pleasure Cheryll Andrews hasn’t experienced in two years.
“Trauma kind of knocks everything out of you,” she explained.
After job loss and health issues, Cheryll became homeless, but she’s working her way back. And a stop in the salon is a step.
“Confidence plays a really big factor in terms of when you're out looking for a job,” said Alonzo Peterson, who runs the The Leg Up Program, which helps people who Cheryll, who are homeless or at risk of becoming so, find employment and housing.
On this day, Novak Hair Studios on West Lancaster in Fort Worth offered complimentary haircuts to Leg Up participants. “We're doing blow-dry’s and flat irons and style outs,” said owner Ben Novak Hudgins. “Let them experience what every person wants to experience, which is to be taken care of.”
For Hudgins, his humble beginnings drive his desire to help. “It's so important and very personal to me to give back the same way people gave to me,” he said.
Peterson says efforts like these are so appreciated. “This last year we helped probably 100 people like Cheryll find employment, but these kind of programs, like what they’re doing at Novak today, is critical to that,” he said.
All of the people here are prepping to job search. Cheryll hopes to find a job in social work or the non-profit world. “The thing with the hair is all about self image – that's probably at the top of the list of recovery,” she said.
And with this, Cheryll is well on the road towards that.