Former Homeless Hairstylist Gives Back in a Big Way

Vanessa Howards is one women who truly believes in giving back. And that is why she makes sure to give back to girls and women who are going through the same thing she once struggled through.

This inspirational story is about a former homeless teen mom who had the courage to escape her abusive husband, and has now made quite the mark in the beauty industry. Howard’s story has taken the world by storm, and for some, has helped store back a little of their faith in humanity.

Her Challenging Upbringing

Howard did not grow up in very normal circumstances. By the time she was only a teen, she had suffered severe domestic abuse, had three children of her own, and had a total of $1.75 to her name. When she finally got the courage to remove herself and her children from her toxic environment, she had nowhere to go.
It took one kind landlord who believed in her that let her rent an apartment. Despite Howard having absolutely no way of paying rent, he gave her a roof over her head. His kindness was solely due to the belief that it was his duty to help this single mother and her three daughters in any way he could.

And from there it was all uphill. Howard, who always had a flare for beauty and hair, started working at the local beauty salon to provide for her three young girls. With challenging work, determination, and faith, she managed to eventually open her very own business, with the fitting name “Giving Hands Hair Salon”.

A One of a Kind Salon

What is so special about this hair salon, is that one day out of every month, now 62-year-old Howard puts aside time to give free hair-styling and beauty services to up to 300 women living in homeless shelters around her area. Like Howard, these girls do not come from an easy background, one that it is hard to ever remove yourself from. But it is Howards aim to give them the courage, self-respect, and belief needed to live the best lives they possibly can.

In an interview with CBS news Howard explains her project and why she was inspired to use her gifts and fortunes to help those around her:
“I believe everything we go through we go through for purpose. I truly believe that nothing happens by coincidence,” Howard told CBS, “I would encourage other broken women, business owners — all of us have a story and I believe that we should use what we’ve been through to help others.”

About the author

Emily Smith

Twenty-one years old, with green eyes, pretty good teeth and currently venturing through Philosophy and Literature degree. But all that is semantics.
What’s important to know is that I have a passion for creative writing, reading and travelling and a love for deep ideas, deep people and deep tubs of ice cream.