For those who have been following my short story here is part 6. I only hope your are entertained and intrigued. This is a true story so it should also make you angry, sad and make you think about those we shut out even if just in our minds.
Helena’s hairdresser suggested she talk to someone at the school of hairdressing Paul Popes. She knew first hand they were in favor of programs supported by the government, which helped poor or less fortunate students become beauticians and very much supported community’s needs.
Helena was more determined than ever now that there might still be a chance to make her dream a reality. Confident and on a mission, she arranged to talk to the administration of Paul Pope’s about her proposal. To her amazement and excitement, the teachers and president of the school wanted to be part of Helena’s wonderful program. It came as a shock to all that day, that there were no government services in place ready to help the less fortunate with much needed grooming and personal care needs. What seemed like an everyday bother to most of us, now opened our eyes to the fact that even this simple task was another barrier separating the poor and homeless from the rest of the community.Helena impressed the staff and students at the school with her strong will and determination. Under her supervision all were eager to support her anyway they could. The first step forward was taken,and now there was no turning back, she had a place to accommodate her customers, and students to help her service their needs.Helena left feeling proud of her new found support system but not before showing her gratitude to everyone within her reach. Hugs and tears sealed the deal.
After hearing about Helena’s visit to the hairdressing school, through Paula, Barnett requested a meeting with her at his office. Reluctantly, she accepted his invitation for the following Friday. It was hard to tell by his secretary’s tone whether this was to be a pleasant or an unpleasant experience, so she wasn’t sure how to prepare herself. She only had her last experiences to judge by. So taking that into consideration she made all her preparations, and hopefully had the answers to any questions Barnett might ask. Helena’s visit to Barnett’s office was like a replay of a movie. Everything was the same, including his same ill fitting suit. This time he hung up the phone as soon as she entered his office. With a smile and a polite good morning she offered her hand as a friendly gesture. He just motioned her to sit down. The atmosphere still had the same cold unfriendliness in the air as before. Helena set her papers on the small table beside her chair, tucking a rather large white envelope back in place that had slipped part way out of the neat pile. When Barnett rose from his place behind his desk scraping his chair on the bare floor the sound made Helena jump. Pleased that Helena was ill at ease; Barnett sat on the corner of his desk and leaned forward. In a very low but condescending voice he started asking his questions. Why did she go to the school of hairdressing to seek help with her program – a waste of time he would not support? She answered him politely that neither she nor the school thought her idea was a waste of time. He stood up abruptly, Shaking his plump, unmanicured finger at her while pacing back and forth, letting her know how unhappy she had made him and her employers – the board of governors of Social Services.