New home for Transitional Options for Women will become another bright spot in community

Home will become beauty salon, training center after renovations

ROANOKE, Va. – A Roanoke nonprofit that helps former female prisoners regain their independence is expanding.

Transitional Options for Women was gifted a historic home to continue its mission. Executive Director Dorothy Owsley walked us through the place, which will become the next phase for Transitional Options for Women.  

"Here is where the beauty shop will be," said Owsley. 

The house on Patterson Avenue is not in the best shape. Every room in the three-story building needs some work. Owsley said community members will have to roll up their sleeves to help out.  

"The house does need a lot of cosmetic work. We need building supplies, We need funding. We need volunteers. We need every aspect we can get to make this building what it needs to be," said Owsley. 

The West End home has changed hands many times in the last few years. Most recently, a northern Virginia real estate investor purchased the property for use by Transitional Options for Women. 

"I Very strongly believe in helping anyone who is willing to help themselves. And so giving the ladies that come through this program the chance to get back on their feet is very important," said Earl Eck, of Everett Leigh Morgan LLC.  

It will also be a center for others in the neighborhood.

"The goal is to put a beauty shop in the lower part and also teach the kids at the West End Center how to work on computers instead of just playing on them. And also, with the beauty shop, to put a barber chair in so, once a month, children can come in and get their hair done and a haircut for free," said Owsley. 

The new home will also expand amount of housing the center has for women to stay in while they are working to rebuild their lives after incarceration. 

"And we are getting more referrals than we have space and we do not want to turn anyone away," Owsley said. 

Eck said he is looking forward to the location being a bright spot in the community and not just another house in the neighborhood. Over time, he said, he hopes to see community events hosted there

Renovations are expected to be complete in December.