From “strung-out” to “stunning”

Written by: dlkraft12 Date of published: .

Report from FOX 4 news
08/13/2012

NAPLES, Fla. – Southwest Floridians trying to make a fresh start in life are getting a fresh look.

“What we do is help people get to the next stage and be beautiful both externally and internally,” says one official at St. Matthew’s house. The folks from hair design by Avantgarde are offering their time and talent to help with the external transformation for current and former shelter residents.

Some of the sylists know of the struggles first hand. “I’m also in a 12 step recovery program,” says stylist Lynzi V. who used to be a shelter resident. “This might give them a bit of extra confidence,” she says.

Sue Liston was among those getting makeovers on Monday. She left the St. Matthew’s house six months ago and says it’s important to have a good appearance while looking for jobs.
“I didn’t think I could get a job as a waitress or a customer service rep looking like a homeless person,” says Liston.

As he worked on another client, stylist Alex Dereus explained how a few changes can make a difference.

“She said she has interview tomorrow, so we’re giving her curls and a cut that’s work-savvy for her,” he says.

And his magic worked for the client who told us, “This actually gives me more confidence in myself!”

It’s not just the current and former shelter residents who feel grateful for the experience.
Stylist Lynzi V. says it’s a chance for redemption for her after “being so selfish” when she was in the grip of addiction.

“I want to give back to the community for the havoc I have wreaked,” she says.And the grand dame of Hair Design by Avantgarde, Katja, says she’s deeply appreciative of the “real heroes” of the community – the staff at St. Matthew’s House.

“I am so grateful for what they’re doing, and this is our way to give back to the community,” she says.

The salon staff made the time for the makeovers even though they’re swamped getting ready for a grand opening for their newest location at 2355 Vanderbilt Beach Road in Naples on February 24th. Full story at FOX4

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