We had the good fortune of connecting with Shirley Raines and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shirley, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Beauty 2 the streetz is a nonprofit that focuses on the needs of the homeless in Los Angeles skid row area. We understand that being homeless does not and should not mean a loss of who one is. People still want to feel good and look good despite their circumstances. We help the community with food, clothing, hygiene, makeup, haircuts, braids and more. I think we help the community by recognizing that they are individuals having a hard time right now in their life and they don’t need to be judged…they need to be lifted up and reminded of who they are. We hope by documenting our experiences in the street that people around the world will begin to help out in their own community and change the narrative of what homelessness is.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I wouldn’t say that the work we do with the community sets us apart from others…I will say that the work we do with the homeless community is something that we hope will open the eyes of people all around the world and change the narrative of what homelessness is and who can become homeless. It takes a lot to earn the trust of the broken…being broken myself I understand that. I am really proud that over the years we have put in the work to earn that trust and get the love from our community. It wasn’t easy, it meant showing up when others wouldn’t, it meant looking past attitudes and seeing hearts. It meant being there for them even in the midst of a pandemic. It meant hitting up social media platforms and taking judgement from others in order to get the supplies we needed to care for the homeless community. We have not really overcome these challenges but we have dedicated ourselves to work that calls for thick skin and pushing through. I’ve learned that people are always going to have something negative to say about you but you can’t let that stop you from living out your purpose/passion. Helping my community is my purpose and that lead to my passion. I would like the world to know that I’m a broken woman who buried a child, I take 20mg of prozac every day and I suffer from anxiety/panic disorder. I’m not waiting for things to be better for me but I’m pushing through my own personal crap to live out my purpose. Things may never get better so we have to normalize life and just keep swimming.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my BFF was visiting I would want to take them to the city in which I grew up…I’m super proud of Compton. Things that bring me joy at this place in my life are things that allow me to give back. I would take my friend to eat and drink at a Black owned business somewhere. Supporting my community while having fun is a win win for me. In my opinion visiting places in my community and people in my community is fun. I would take my friend with me to feed the homeless so they could see what the streets are really like and how amazing the community is. I also don’t think life is all about fun but rather facing the reality of what we have become as a people and how we can do better. I want to do things that are meaningful. After we have hit the streets and given back sitting in front of the tv talking and sharing a few drinks would be the ideal ending to a beautiful day.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to shoutout my Nana Sally Logan who planted seeds in me over the years that grew into the person people call Beauty 2 the streetz. My Nana never gave up on me and saw the good/God in me…this is the same outlook I have on my community.
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