The Story of a Cosmetologist

Facing Hunger in Manhattan, Kansas

I just got a job today so thank God for that. But that leaves me about a month without any money. I’m a single mom with four kids, three boys and one girl. We’re all spread out across the country. I haven’t even gotten to meet one of my grandkids yet because my kids and I live so far apart from each other. My youngest son is still livin’ with me.

I’ve always loved to do hair. I’ve been a cosmetologist for such a long time. It’s always been about quality over quantity, for me. If the customer isn’t happy with a haircut, I’m always the one who wants to fix it. I worked for Great Clips for about eight years. One day, a customer came in with a hairstyle she wasn’t happy with. I fixed the haircut for her and was fired the next day just because I fixed a bad haircut.

There was one point in time when I had my own salon. I gave one hundred and fifty percent all the time. Hair has just always been a natural thing I’m good at. It’s hard in job interviews because I’m not sure what else to talk about when they say, “Give me a time when you had to solve a problem and how you solved that problem,” because I’m only good at talking about things that happen at the salon.

There for a while, I didn’t have any income coming in, so I went to the Breadbasket pretty regularly. Every so often, I get a voucher for food at the Presbyterian church. I try to come by the Breadbasket as much as possible depending on if I have a job or not. Oh gosh, there have been times when I’ve come by about twice a week when I was really needing it. The people here have been so good to me. I don’t know what I would do without the Breadbasket, honestly. I don’t feel ashamed to walk in here. The people here have helped me so much. The Breadbasket has never made me feel like a moocher or someone just cheating the system. Thank God I know about the Breadbasket.

As told to Miranda Burns

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