This Group Of Women Is Helping To Fix The Hair And Spirits Of Houston Evacuees – BuzzFeed News

Hibbs described the moment she fled her lakefront apartment in a quiet neighborhood on the city’s west side.

It “rained like heck,” she said, but still wasn’t expecting a flood.

“The water finally got to the top of the lake. I said ‘oh, here we go,'” recounted Hibbs.

The water crept higher and higher. “Up the bank it came. It came up to my patio. Up my patio to my doors. There was no use waiting around,” she said.

Luckily, firefighters in the area came upon Hibbs, who lives alone.

“All of a sudden they were there. I grabbed whatever and headed out with them,” she said.

Hibbs took only her purse, and a small cosmetics bag with a toothbrush and hairbrush. The clothes she now owns are the ones she was wearing when she fled. Firefighters took her to a bus, which drove her to a nearby shelter. After a few nights there, she moved in to the massive NRG Center, which opened after the city’s other shelters were overwhelmed with evacuees.

A friend and former neighbor of Hibbs is flying in from Tennessee to pick her up on Sunday. And now she’s leaving with a new haircut.

“If you make people look good on the outside, they feel good on the inside,” said Mercier, who runs a hair salon in Missouri City, Texas, and a not-for-profit called Hair Dreams by Christal, helping those who’ve lost hair due to chemotherapy or other issues.

The NRG Center is better equipped than most evacuation shelters – a sprawling toy-packed day care (including a section for kids with special needs), a free bookstore and board games section hosted by the public library, computer labs, mobile phone charging stations, a TV set up to show sporting events – but on Saturday it was also the temporary home for 2,440 people, who mostly didn’t choose to be there.