Transitions Shelter Holds "Career Makeover Day"

Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- A relatively new event at Columbia's Transitions Homeless Shelter Saturday gave the people there a day for a "career makeover."

It was started by a local organization known as V.O.W., or Volunteers with an Oath to Work for the Homeless.

Seka Cheeks, the Founder of the organization, said she moved from Greenville to Columbia, and felt a need to be part of a larger good, bringing her to start V.O.W.

"I haven't been homeless, but I have been in some destitute situations," Cheeks said. "When I think about my own personal struggles I've had in the past, it makes me care for these people even more."

The Career Makeover Day began in November, Cheeks said. Saturday it was being held for only the second time since November, but the opportunity she brings to people wanting a change their appearance Cheeks said she felt she was making a change for the people involved.

"People that are from the streets need so much help," said Aida Jordan, a woman who was living at the shelter. "I had no idea."

Help is what brought Jordan in to get her hair done, and it's also why Tara Lawhon, a 29-year-old woman living at the shelter, stopped by to get her nails done.

"I mean appearance is everything," Lawhon said. "Your first impression is everything and I'm a big believer in that."

Both woman said, though currently unemployed, they are ready for employment., and was part of the reason they decided to take part.

The event, which ran from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., also included a career workshop, in which each person was taught skills they'll need to find employment.

From there, they' were given an opportunity to pick from clothes to wear to that interview , which Jordan says helps her in more ways than one.

"It'll help me, because I have low self-esteem, so it's actually helping my self-esteem boost really good," Lawhon said.

A word that was used by many of the volunteers dressing nails and cutting and styling hair was privilege, which can sometimes mean different things to different people. But Saturday the meaning was something special.

"It's an honor to do her hair, to share in her life story," said hairdresser Morcia Bradley as she styled Jordan's hair. "To be able to give back is a privilege."

Cheeks said she is hoping to continue to run the event at Transitions every one-to-two months.

For more information, you are encouraged to reach V.O.W. directly at (803) 386-8677.


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