Meet Shirley Raines, CNN 2021 Hero of the Year. This article explores mainly what happened to her son Demetrius Jay Stephens Jr., her work with the non-profit Beauty2thestreetz, and her story. We also cover her age and information related to her husband.
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Meet Shirley Raines, CNN’s 2021 Hero Of The Year
Shirley Raines has bagged the title of CNN’s 2021 Hero Of The Year. Along with the title, she has been awarded $100,000 which would be invested for the community service. She is best known for her work with Beauty2thestreetz which she established in 2015. Talking about the Beauty2thestreetz, the non-profit got its start fully funded from Shirley Raines’s pocket.
Shirley certainly didn’t start the non-profit because she had more to give but her kind-hearted nature allowed her to do something extraordinary which got recognized. Through the non-profit, she was able to feed 400 plus people and also offered them showers, provide hair-wash, make-up, wigs, and most importantly human connection.
Also, by documenting the life of the people and their living conditions the non-profit was able to aware concerned about the tragic situation of homelessness.
Shirley’s monthly trip to Skid Row included hair washings, hair coloring, beauty tutorials, and makeup makeovers, in addition to staples like food and clothing. While the parameters of Skid Row are constantly shifting due to the insecurity of those without homes, it mostly comprises Third and Seventh Streets to the north and south, as well as Alameda Avenue and Main Street to the east and west.
The non-profit cited those places as the epicenter of the LA homeless community with about 5,000 people experiencing homelessness lining its corridors. This is where Shirley and her team execute their operations.
Shirley Raines Story
A personal tragedy in the life of Shirley Raines is the start of Beauty2thestreetz that has become something larger than imaginable and has touched the lives of hundreds of people in the United States. She lost her son three years before which pushed her to search for a purpose in her life.
The CNN hero explained “This is driven from my pain. One of the worst painful experiences in my life. This is a pain-driven nonprofit. And that’s why I fight so hard for it.”
When Shirley first started volunteering to help people who were less fortunate than her, she found the spark that she was longing for. She shared, “I saw these broken people, and we locked eyes, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, they’re just like me,’” she told Glamour.
One of many work Shirley charity activities performed was giving make-up which according to her was used to hide her trauma and pain. At that time, she was volunteering with other organizations. With her six children to help her, she founded Beauty2TheStreetz.
Now in 2021, Shirley has a team of 30 people working extensively.
Speaking with the HI Lo she shared, “They call me an angel, but I’m no angel; I’m broken. The homeless? They’re just like me: broken. The broken recognize the broken.”
What Happened To Shirley Raines Son?
Shirley Raines lost her first-born child Demetrius Jay Stephens Jr. just five days before his third birthday on 6 September 1990 because of an accidental overdose on prescription medication. Shirley, 22 at the time, had him from her previous marriage. She and her then-husband were living in a hotel room after moving back to Long Beach from San Diego.
The hotel room they lived in was congested and Demetrius didn’t have enough space to play. One day, her grandmother Sally Logan offered to watch her great-grandchild at her home so he could spend time outside.
Before Shirley’s relationship with her mother soured, her relationship with her grandmother thrived. She remembered her as the one person who made her find purpose in her life although she believed she would amount to nothing.
Shirley left her son at her grandmother’s home and let him spend the night which she hadn’t done before. But, when she came to pick up her son the next day, she realized something was wrong because Demetrius was feeling drowsy and couldn’t walk properly on his own.
Unknown to Shirley and her grandmother, Demetrius got his hands on the prescription medication of a relative. Immediately, they took their child to the hospital while Shirley struggled to try to keep him awake. She picked him up and let him sleep and told him she would always love him.
On the day of the death of her son, Shirley promised herself she would end her life. But, the level of depression made her forget her suicidal thoughts. She had become a real-life zombie at one point as she told PEOPLE.
Shirley got her first ray of hope when she went to a local church, where the congregation convinced her that it was time to see her grandma. Logan sobbed when she saw Raines show up on her porch later.
Shirley forgave her grandmother and six months after the accident, her grandmother died of cancer.
Shirley Raines Net Worth
As of 2021, Shirley Raines reportedly has a net worth of nearly $300 thousand.
How Old Is Shirley Raines?
As of 2021, Shirley Raines is 53 years old.
Where Was Shirley Raines Born?
Shirley Raines was born in Los Angeles, California.
Is Shirley Raines Married?
Shirley Raines was previously married to her husband Demetrius Stephens Sr. Her current relationship status is not known. But, on her Twitter she has shared about having 5 street husbands.
How Tall Is Shirley Raines?
Shirley Raines stands tall to the height of over 5 feet 7 inches.
Is Shirley Raines On Instagram, TikTok?
Shirley’s IG account (@beauty2thestreetz) has 250k followers. She is also on TikTok (@beauty2thestreetz) with 3.6 million followers and 72.8 million likes for her videos. Her Twitter account is (@beauty2streetz).