Working together to help the homeless


Okemos attorney Shane Goodale and his son Will, are pictured outside Sera Bella salon at the Meridian Mall, with manager Jenifer Harris (third from right) and stylists who donated their time last month to provide haircuts for homeless people who use the Open Door Ministry shelter in downtown Lansing.

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

While a second-year student at Cooley Law School, Shane Goodale founded a free legal clinic, the Homeless Assistance and Prevention Project (HAPP), providing basic legal services people visiting the Open Door Ministry shelter in downtown Lansing.

Goodale, now a solo practitioner in Okemos, has since served on the HAPP board for more than two years.

Last year, Goodale arranged for a couple of cosmetologists to provide free haircuts to clients at the shelter but then learned a state law prevented those services from being provided by licensed cosmetologists outside of a 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 said. 

Fast forward to April, when Goodale was asking about prices and services at the Sera Bella salon in the Meridian Mall. During a chat with manager Jenifer Harris, Goodale mentioned the dilemma about providing haircuts at the shelter.

“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 said. The event was held 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 with Chris Richardson, manager at Sbarro pizza at the mall, who receivedapproval 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 said.

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.


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