Attorney teams with businesses to help homeless

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

While a 2L student at Cooley Law School, Shane Goodale founded a free legal clinic, the Homeless Assistance and Prevention Project (HAPP), providing basic legal services to the people that visit the Open Door Ministry shelter in downtown Lansing. He has since served on its board for more than two years.

Last year, Goodale, now a solo practice attorney in Okemos, arranged for a couple of cosmetologists to provide free haircuts to clients at the shelter, before learning a Michigan statute prevents those services from being provided by licensed cosmetologists outside of a licensed salon.

“People that visited the shelter told me that being able to get haircuts was difficult and that it would make a world of difference to many if they were able to get haircuts,” he says. 

Fast forward to April, when Goodale was asking about prices and services at the Sera Bella salon in the Meridian Mall. In chatting with manager Jenifer Harris, Goodale mentioned the dilemma about providing haircuts. “Jenifer had been thinking of a way to provide a community event at the salon – and that she could arrange for all her stylists to come in for a couple of hours one day to provide free hair cuts to our clients if I could arrange it on our end,” Goodale says. 

The event was held on Tuesday, June 16, and several clients who use the shelter received free haircuts.

“I hope to continue providing community events for this group and others in the future,” Harris says.

Goodale also talked to Chris Richardson, manager at Sbarro pizza at the mall, who got approval from his regional manager to donate pizzas.

 “It was a privilege to be a part of the event and to help Mr. Goodale with his efforts to improve the lives of individuals that utilize local area shelters,” Richardson says.

Sera Bella salon will continue to have a box for non-perishables and monetary donations. Donations can also be made directly to the Open Door Ministry, located at Lansing Central United Methodist Church, 215 N. Capitol Ave.