Dorothy (Dot) Reid is a native of Richmond and a John Marshall High School graduate. In 1993, she attended North Carolina A&T State University and 1997, graduated with a BS degree in nursing, specializing in neurosurgery. She also received an AS degree in marketing and business management.
Dot pursued nursing because of her passion for helping others. After graduating from NC A&T, she decided she wanted to pursue a new career path and attended barber school at the Richmond Technical Center. During her apprenticeship, in 2008, Dot opened “Refuge For Men” barbershop, now located on Main Street near VCU.
Dot began her work in the community by volunteering with her church and participating in CARITAS. Her concept, “Refuge For Men Foundation” was created in 2015. The mission of the Foundation is to connect economically disadvantage youth and adults with affordable housing and services. They offer community-based learning opportunities to youth between the ages of 12 and 21 which includes the mastery of barbering skills, development of social skills, and participation in community service.
The Foundation offers community-based services through three programs: Refuge Connect, Refuge Kindness Cuts, and Refuge Community Clippers. Through the Foundation they have partnered with Art 180 and OAR to provide job opportunities for young men and women who were within the juvenile justice system. The training helps participants gain skills and obtain employment.
They have also partnered with Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Project Homeless Connect, Fetch A Cure, Recycling Perks, Special Olympics, and many others. Over the past years they had provided over 7,500 haircuts to disadvantage Richmonders and almost $15,000 to VCU Massey Cancer Research Center. “Giving back to the community is so important to us because our success comes from our community one haircut at a time,” shared Dot.
The future goal for Refuge For Men, L.L.C and Refuge For Men Foundation is to continue to build their staff for those interested in pursuing a career in the barbering industry and to discover ways that they can give back to the Commonwealth of Virginia through the nonprofit.