There, the place tents line complete metropolis blocks, homeless individuals collect to get free makeovers from Shirley Raines, or a member on her crew of volunteers, made up of licensed hair stylists, barbers, make-up artists.”Simply because they dwell on the streets doesn’t suggest that there aren’t issues we will do to assist them not seem as they dwell on the streets,” Raines instructed CNN. “It is their proper to be lovely.” She mentioned she got here up with the thought after volunteering at a soup kitchen, the place she realized that whereas meals, water and shelter may be what homeless individuals must survive, a haircut, a brand new hair shade and a few make-up are what assist them thrive.”These are people who find themselves homeless with a husband, with a spouse,” the 52-year-old mentioned. “We’re speaking about individuals who go to work 5 days every week, however nonetheless stay homeless. They wish to get lovely for his or her partner. They wish to get cleaned up and exquisite to go to work. The little children who’re nonetheless going to high school want a contemporary haircut.”The coronavirus epidemic has put the group’s magnificence companies on pause — however the non-profit remains to be serving to in any manner it could possibly. It has since shifted its focus to offering sources to assist shield homeless individuals from the coronavirus. And now that California Gov. Gavin Newsom has allowed hair salons and barbershops to carry out companies outdoors, Raines mentioned she hopes to restart haircuts and makeovers quickly. A goal stemming from her ache For a lot of on Skid Row, Raines has turn into rather more than a stylist. With every interplay, she mentioned individuals within the homeless group share their life tales together with her. However caring for individuals experiencing homelessness has additionally helped Raines heal a traumatic ache of her personal. About 30 years in the past, she misplaced her 3-year-old son in an accident. “That simply broke me,” she mentioned. “I got here down with panic and nervousness dysfunction… I wasn’t mother to my dwelling kids. I used to be only a actually bitter individual and my loss made me that manner.” Along with her twin sister’s recommendation to “discover a goal for the ache,” and a pal’s suggestion to volunteer at a soup kitchen, Raines set foot for the primary time in LA’s homeless group, serving to give out meals. “I noticed a lot brokenness, a lot heartbreak,” she recalled. “I simply acknowledged that as a result of I felt like I used to be one among them. I am damaged too from the ache and so I actually preferred it and I continued to exit.” As she gave out meals, she rapidly realized that the homeless ladies, each cis- and transgender, have been extra all in favour of her hair, make-up and vogue. She requested them in the event that they wished some hair and make-up merchandise and so they mentioned sure so she headed to a make-up retailer and purchased dozens of mascaras, eyelashes and different easy make-up objects. Then she went house to choose up bottles of hair shade that she hadn’t used and headed to Skid Row. As she handed out make-up merchandise and dyed individuals’s hair, she realized that she had discovered her goal and determined to launch her personal operation.Initially, Magnificence 2 The Streetz was small — with simply her 5 kids serving to handy out meals, drinks, hygiene kits and wonder merchandise. Raines alone would dye individuals’s hair and do their make-up. However then she began dwell streaming the occasions and posting footage to Instagram, and Magnificence 2 The Streetz quickly turned extra well-known.Licensed hair stylists, barbers, make-up artists and even large make-up firms reached out to Raines saying that they wished to assist. By 2019, Raines had registered Magnificence 2 The Streetz as an official non-profit with about two dozen volunteers generously providing their time and efforts to assist Skid Row’s residents really feel lovely. She left her job as a medical biller final 12 months and began working the group full time. Giving her purchasers confidenceCherish Benham, 30, and her husband have been homeless on and off for round 4 years, an expertise she described as “traumatic.” “I noticed a person get shot and drop lifeless simply 15 ft away from our tent,” Benham instructed CNN. “To see that, it gave me gasoline to get me out of that state of affairs.” Benham already had a motive to get her life again on monitor — however she simply wanted the arrogance, and the best alternative.That is when Magnificence 2 The Streetz got here in — with Raines giving Benham a makeover that permit her pure magnificence shine. “I felt like a model new lady,” Benham mentioned. “It gave me the arrogance to raise my head up increased. To not fear concerning the state of affairs I am presently in, however transfer ahead for what I might be sooner or later.” Within the 12 months that they’ve recognized one another, Benham mentioned Raines was all the time there present her with something she wanted, whether or not it was some cash for a piece uniform, job connections or simply somebody to speak to. Now, Benham is working for the Census Bureau, and has been dwelling in everlasting housing together with her husband for 3 months. Along with her personal arduous work, she credit Raines for turning her life round. “Ms. Shirley is without doubt one of the most caring, loving souls ever,” Benham mentioned. “It doesn’t matter what state of affairs you are in, it doesn’t matter what you seem like, she’s all the time treats you with the utmost respect. Particularly in Skid Row, you do not get that a lot welcoming respect, however together with her and her crew, they make me really feel like a traditional human being.” Pushing by the pandemic When California ordered all its residents to remain at house in late March because of the coronavirus pandemic, Raines and her volunteers complied and didn’t go to Skid Row. However their presence was significantly missed. “That Monday, I opened up my DM on my Instagram and several other homeless group members despatched me messages saying, ‘The place are you? We’re hungry. We’re alone. No person’s out right here feeding us,'” Raines recalled. “I spotted that we did not have the luxurious of self isolating as a result of we constructed this relationship with the group so we have to nonetheless go on the market and assist them.” As a result of homeless individuals dwell in shut quarters and have restricted entry handy washing sources, Raines is aware of that they’re extraordinarily weak to contracting Covid-19. So as a substitute of hair and make-up, she shifted her operations to give attention to meals, hygiene and safety. The non-profit has been handing out provides each weekend since March 28, ensuring they’re adhering to social distancing tips and sporting masks themselves whereas on Skid Row. Raines and her volunteers distribute a whole bunch of McDonald’s burgers, in addition to kits filled with hand sanitizer, bottled water, socks, masks and vitamin C-rich fruits to spice up the immune system.Nonetheless, the need for hair merchandise and make-up is there, Raines mentioned, so Magnificence 2 The Streetz has additionally been slowly bringing out wigs, make-up, combs and brushes so homeless individuals can model themselves. Raines mentioned If there’s something to study from the coronavirus pandemic, it is that “any one among us may very well be them (homeless) at any given time.” An evaluation revealed in May by Brendan O’ Flaherty, a Columbia College economics professor, predicted that homelessness will enhance 40-45% by the top of the 12 months if the coronavirus pandemic continues to drive unemployment ranges as excessive as predicted. That may imply 250,000 extra People would turn into homeless in comparison with final 12 months, bringing the overall variety of these experiencing homelessness to above 800,000. “We’re already taking a look at locations the place landlords are placing tenants out and we have mothers and kids sleeping within the automobile. They simply had a job. The whole lot was tremendous with them,” Raines mentioned. “One pandemic got here in and altered everybody’s funds. I would like individuals to grasp that they’re no completely different than us and the narrative of what homelessness is has to vary.”CNN’s Harmeet Kaur contributed to this report.