NA’AMAT USA’s San Fernando Valley Council Treats Formerly Homeless Women
A group of formerly homeless women and their teenage daughters living in a Boyle Heights emergency shelter were recently treated to an “afternoon of beauty” courtesy of the San Fernando Valley Chapter of NA’AMAT USA. More than 40 residents of LA Family Housing’s Comunidad Cesar Chavez received haircuts, stylings, manicures and make-up treatments applied by students from Paul Mitchell—The School, a cosmetology school in Sherman Oaks. The San Fernando Valley Chapter of NA’AMAT USA organized the event as a way to give the women a respite from their challenging lives, and to look and feel beautiful.
“What mom or teenage girl would not enjoy an afternoon of beauty?” said Susan Lutske, who, with Susan Miller, led the 8-woman committee from NA’AMAT USA’s San Fernando Valley Council. “The theme of this event mirrored our mantra: ‘Women Celebrating Women.’”
In addition to the beauty treatments, NA’AMAT USA provided a light lunch and many rounds of bingo with prizes including gift cards from nearby establishments such as Food for Less, Subway, McDonald’s and Jack-in-the-Box. “Despite the hot day, the energized and competitive ladies sat outside playing bingo with big smiles and even bigger hopes that their numbers would be called,” Lutske recalled.
The women and teens living in the shelter were also given personalized gift bags filled with shampoo, lotions, make-up, dental supplies, handwritten notes of encouragement and sweets.
Tatiana Hernandez, Operations Manager at Comunidad Cesar Chavez called it a very memorable day for residents. “NA’AMAT USA made each of the participants feel special,” she said. “We appreciate the support and dedication.”
Resident Veronica R., who received a haircut, blowout and makeup, said she felt beautiful. “I haven’t felt this way in a very long time,” she noted. “I’m very appreciative of the women for organizing this wonderful event and spending the afternoon with us.”
Angel S. who arrived at the shelter just two days prior to the event had a manicure. “I’ve never experienced anything this nice,” she said.
Vanessa S., recipient of a haircut, blowout and manicure added, “I’m walking out of this afternoon of beauty with my head held high and some much needed confidence. Thank you NA’AMAT for a wonderful day!”
“The NA’AMAT event committee members were grateful for the opportunity to address our community mission and accomplish a mitzvah (good deed),” Lutske said. “We will continue to look for ways to support LA Fair Housing.”