NEWPORT NEWS—Women experiencing homelessness are being given the gift of pride and renewal thanks to a generous contribution from the Rotary Club of Warwick at City Center. The club recently donated $1,000 to create a beauty salon at the Four Oaks Day Service Center. Four Oaks helps people transition out of homelessness into employment, stable housing, and independence.
Quincy White, executive director of the Four Oaks Services Center, recently gave a presentation at a Rotary Club of Warwick at City Center meeting. He shared information on the Center’s services, as well as upcoming job fairs and workforce development initiatives.
The current club President, Sharon Martin, was inspired by the transformational work that takes place at Four Oaks. After visiting the site and learning that Four Oaks has a barbershop on-site staffed by volunteers—but not a beauty salon for female clients—she came up with a plan.
Martin has held a cosmetology license for 37 years and understands how having nicely styled hair leads to increased pride and confidence, both of which the women who are served at Four Oaks need during job interviews. According to Martin, “We are called to share our resources and, when our financial resources align with our skills and passions, everyone wins.”
As President of the Rotary Club, Martin is given $1,000 to donate to local non-profit organizations of her choice, and she is using these discretionary funds to develop the salon, as well as provide other supplies.
“To accomplish our goal as a city of making homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring, we at Four Oaks rely on community partners like the Rotary Club to assist in meeting the needs of our homeless citizens,” said White. “The goal of every program at Four Oaks is to build a sense of sustainability and a mindset of independence. Partners like the Rotary Club of Warwick at City Center help us provide hope to those we serve and empower them to rise above their circumstances.”
Four Oak is partnering with Newport News YouthBuild to complete the project. YouthBuild helps young people ages 16–24 gain work-based education that leads to industry-recognized credentials, employment placing, or apprenticeships. YouthBuild participants will receive on-the-job training by renovating a room at Four Oaks and creating the salon. The Heart of Giving will provide equipment and supplies needed for the salon. The goal is to have the facility open in early September.