When Haylie Hume came to Carson City from Ely three years ago, she had one baby with her and another on the way.
Her plan was to attend the Carson City Beauty Academy, but she was barely making ends meet.
On the verge of being evicted from her apartment in 2007, she went to Health and Human Services seeking help.
"I didn't have anything," she said. "I didn't know what to do."
At Health and Human Services, they gave her the assistance she needed to keep her apartment, but they also offered her an opportunity.
Seeing in her a desire to work for a better future, they recommended Hume for a new program called Capital City Circles, which she now calls her savior.
Circles is an initiative aimed at breaking generational poverty.
Participants in the program examine the reasons behind their poverty and are given tools address them. They start the process by discussing their debt-to-income ratio and then determine what it is they want and what's holding them back from getting it.
The final phase is the circle, where participants are matched up with "allies," middle- and upper-class families who volunteer to meet monthly with the clients.
"I learned so many things I never would have known," Hume said. "They taught me how to budget my money, about poverty, everything."
Hume, along with her boyfriend, Cody Whiterock, graduated from the Circles program in 2009. Hume went on to graduate from the beauty academy that same year.
After graduation, she went to work at a salon, but is now opening her own business, Haylie's Hair Hut, 503 E. Spear St.
"If it wasn't for Circles, I wouldn't be here," she said.
Looking back, she said, she's amazed at the changes she's seen in her life in a relatively short period of time.
"It's crazy," she said. "I could write a book. I never thought I'd even live to 25, and now I have a good life."
The salon hosted a grand opening Thursday to welcome new and continuing clients, and she is offering a $5 off special to anyone coming in over the next 30 days.
She knows it's a big step, but, she said, she's ready.
"I'm nervous, but I'm really excited," she said.
If you go
WHAT: Haylie's Hair Salon
WHERE: 503 E. Spear St.
CONTACT: (775) 461-3421
For more information about Capital City Circles, visit capitalcitycircles.org or call coordinator Brenda Silis at (775) 315-9469.
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