People Making A Difference: Nonprofit Provides More Than A Haircut For Homeless

NORTH HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) – Despite being a busy salon owner, Maggie Goodner didn’t hesitate when a client asked her to volunteer her services with the homeless.

Twice a month, Maggie Goodner spends a few hours cutting the hair of those experiencing homelessness to make them feel dignified and cared for. (credit: CBSLA)

“Everybody should be doing something, so I don’t feel I’m doing much,” she said. “I give up three hours a month, and that’s it.”

As the owner of Salon Sin E in Studio City, Goodner spends much of her time running her business and styling hair there. But twice a month, you can find her buzzing, cutting, and washing hair in the small courtyard at St. Matthew’s Church in North Hollywood.

The courtyard has no running water, but Goodner makes do in order to provide a crucial service to the those experiencing homelessness.

The church, partnered with the nonprofit NOHO Home Alliance, pushes aside some tables and sets up a makeshift salon, equipped with a barber’s chair and fresh towels for each person they serve. By providing an access point for those struggling with homelessness, their “comb and cut” program is listing spirits.

“I love giving them hot towels, because they can actually say, ‘Oh, someone’s taking care of me,'” Goodner said.

She uses freshly scented peppermint towels and a friendly personality to make each client feel brand new. For her, that’s gratifying.

“When they walk away, I can see they’re happier, they’re more relaxed,” she said. “They’re a little prouder about themselves.”

For those she serves, Goodner is giving out more than just free haircuts.

“It sounds like it’s just about haircuts, but it’s not,” Rev. Jaeger said. “It’s creating dignity for people.”