Mother's Day is the best day of the year — besides maybe Thanksgiving — for the homeless ladies of L.A.'s notorious Skid Row.
Local charities are practically fighting over the chance to hand out free makeovers to this growing population of bedraggled womenfolk:
… “will be treated to shampoos with high quality hair products, hair styling, make-up application, and beautiful manicures.”
Red Eye's event had more of a glamorous Hollywood theme, with an actual red carpet, racks of clothing, a photo shoot/photo wall and “SWAG bags” not unlike those thrown at celebrities backstage the Academy Awards.
Suzanna Choi, spokeswoman for the Fred Jordan Mission (which is located along Skid Row, all dressed up in banners and balloons today), says she hasn't heard of Red Eye's event. She points out that the mission was the first to introduce Mother's Day makeovers to Skid Row over two decades ago, and is really the only mission that “really focuses on moms.”
But no matter — the more SWAG and spa days, the better!
Willie Jordan, the mission's president, says that judging by their appearance, “the gals that are waiting here today, I don't think they saw [the event] yesterday.”
Today's festivities will include “more than 200 professional hair stylists, manicurists and make-up artists” who have volunteered to pamper Skid Row moms “with professional beauty services normally found only in the high end salons,” according to the mission's press release. They're even giving haircuts to the kids.
As long as the women are willing to stand in line, we have enough stylists” to accomodate them all,” says Jordan. “Sometimes we've gone as late at 6 o'clock. There's no cutoff.”
While we're waiting on some before-and-after photos from the mission, here's a video from last year's Red Eye event.
As homeless people are pushed off other gentrifying sidewalks of L.A., their population along Skid Row — along with piles of their belongings/trash — has risen sharply in the past few months. As the Los Angeles Downtown News reports today:
Last June, a federal judge ordered the city to stop seizing and destroying abandoned items from Skid Row sidewalks. The unintended side effects of the ruling have been well-chronicled: Pile-ups of random belongings have proliferated and homeless encampments have multiplied.
At least they're looking extra fly this Mother's Day. More photos to come.
Update: The mission looks “looks like a huge hair salon” today, says President Jordan. Here are some photos of the madness, courtesy of Suzanna Choi.