Andrea Craig gives Anndrea Webb a fresh manicure at beauty day. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Beauty Day spreads ‘brightness’ at Our Place

Volunteer hairdressers, estheticians, even a tarot card reader took part in the Victoria event

Anndrea Webb is one of about 50 women who took part in Our Place Society’s annual beauty day event Friday morning. She, along with many other women at the event, understands the impact feeling beautiful can have — even if it’s just for a day — for those living on the streets or at a shelter.

“It’s nice to be pampered, having a day like this I was so excited because I never get to do anything like this on my own,” said Webb. “Yes, I have money from disability but in the past, honestly, I’ve gone for things that weren’t that great.”

Webb has been living at the My Place, Our Place’s sister shelter, for the past month and a half. She was in the middle of a manicure Friday when Black Press Media caught up with her, trading in her long green acrylic nails for short red nails with gemstone accents on a few fingers with the help of a volunteer, Andrea Craig.

RELATED: Our Place turns up the glamour for Beauty Day

It was Craig’s third time at Our Place that week. She started volunteering at the community hub about six months ago and said she didn’t expect it to be such a life-changing experience.

“You sit down with someone and within 20 minutes you know their life story … there’s something about holding someone’s hand,” said Craig as she filed down Webb’s nails. “I’ve had people fall asleep when I’m doing their nails — I thought it was really cute — she wakes up ‘I must really trust you’ and then falls asleep again.”

Both Andreas laugh.

Webb said life at the shelter is hard but coming from living in “skid row” on Vancouver’s east side — it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

RELATED: New storage space opens at Our Place

Webb has been addicted to crystal meth and heroin for the past three years – after a violent, traumatic encounter with the father of her two kids left her wanting to feel numb.

“I lost my mind. I didn’t know what to do and that was the first thing there to comfort me was crystal meth,” she said. “It did exactly what I wanted it to do — shut off the pain … and I have an addictive personality so it just kind of skyrocketed to a downward spiral of hell.”

Webb was able to find a bed at Sandy Merriman House and from there she said she was “scooped up” to My Place, where she made the decision to get off drugs. About a month into her decision to get sober, Webb said she’s had a few slip-ups but is excited for the next steps as she gets ready to enter a week-long detox program on Monday and from there, stabilization for another 30 days.

“I never really took care of my hair or my looks or anything when I was on the street, because what’s the point … I just started to really get hard.”

Webb said her life was good before the drugs took hold, and she wants that back.

“I had a two-bedroom place, I had a full-time job and I had my kids. So it was only a small blurb, but it was a really hard life learning, life lesson,” she said with almost a laugh.

Despite watching her friends “lose their minds” to addiction, Webb said the hold drugs had on her was ironclad.

“I got my son’s name tattooed on my arm so that in case I ever wanted to pick up drugs with this arm I would look at his name and think ‘ok, do I want to do this?’ After a while, I was sticking a needle in that arm looking at his name and not being able to feel anything.”

Amongst the volunteers and family members crowding around tables of fresh snacks, cosmetics and toiletries that have all been donated, there’s a feeling of hope and happiness in the room.

This is Emily Staniland first time volunteering with Our Place after seeing something on Facebook and she said it won’t be her last.

“Something like a decent moisturizer, or being able to sit around with a bunch of ladies and talk about frizz or eyeliner, is just one of those little parts of community, a little luxury, a little piece of brightness,” Staniland said.

Judging by the smiles plastered on participants faces, the 10th annual beauty day event was a success and organizer Erin Stott agreed.

“I think it’s going amazing,” Stott said. “Everybody’s having fun, I have enough volunteers … [and] enough stuff to make the girls feel special.”

SIG CODE:



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Our Place

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Volunteer hairdressers gave women at beauty day a brand new look. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Volunteer hairdressers, aestheticians were on hand at Our Place’s beauty day event, along with tarot card readings and acupressure and massage. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Women were treated to cosmetics, toiletries and snacks. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Victoria man collects 28 bags of trash along two-kilometre stretch of highway

20-year-old spent 12 hours collecting garbage near Thetis Lake

Greater Victoria infrastructure get millions in investments to help with economic recovery

New community spaces, health centre, turf fields coming for region

Owners say loss of parking pushes businesses to the brink

New Penny Farthing patio ‘will be like New Orleans, or Las Vegas’

Victoria International Airport rolls out health and safety initiative

YYJ limits who can enter terminal along with other added safety measures

Ryan Reynolds matching fundraising dollars for B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest

Vancouver-born actor appeals to the public with Make Ryan Pay! campaign

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Most Read