By Elsiewhere. “Linda makes gray look like pink,” says one of women while waiting to have her hair cut by Linda K.
The comment is in reference to Linda’s attire, said in a conversation in which the women greet Linda, and tell her how much they value her. Linda also does art work with the women.
Haircuts are an EVENT, accompanied by much laughter and conversation about anything and everything, including bunions, shoes, sunburns, oily skin…. The woman you’re sitting beside, who reminds you of Tina Turner, suddenly shows you her fire-scarred hands, and tells you that when she was 15, she survived a house fire “that took seven lives. My face was burned, too,” she says, and then she’s laughing again, at something someone else has just said. The women talk about cutting their own hair, and the disastrous outcomes; one woman brings out the dress she’s wearing this weekend at her “baby’s wedding”. One woman talks about the wig she wore during the year she was having chemo for breast cancer, and how ripped off she was when the bus driver didn’t recognize she’d quit wearing her wig after her hair had grown back.
And on and on they talk, sitting around the chair in which someone is having her hair cut.
There is a mutual admiration and respect between Linda and the women, and regardless of whether someone is having her bangs trimmed, her split ends cut off, or having her shoulder-length hair cut short, each women leaves the chair feeling better!
“You are a present to us,” says one. “And you to me,” replies Linda.
WARM ZONE. It lives up to its name. What a privilege it is to spend time there, and to get to know some amazing women!
For those who don’t know: The Warm Zone is a drop in facility for street engaged women. There women will find a full bathroom, laundry facilities, lockers, clothing and personal care items, internet, telephone (including long distance), a kitchen stocked with drinks and snacks, a hot meal each Monday and Wednesday from 4:30 – 6:30pm, support workers and counsellors, access to medical and legal services, a monthly HIV clinic, a foot care clinic, pre-employment readiness support, advocacy, pregnancy support and help with obtaining emergency and stable housing. The Warm Zone also helps women who are living and working on the streets develop personal safety plans.
Elsiewhere, In Abbotsford can be found everyday on her on Facebook page.
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