On Oct. 19, tattoo artists at Lucky Monkey Tattoo, 3024 Packard St. in Ann Arbor; and Lovely Monkey Tattoo, 9541 Main St. in Whitmore Lake, will offer a special tattoo to help the homeless.
Both locations will offer a "Heart Key" design that was created to represent the phrase "home is where the heart is." Each tattoo will be done in black ink on clients' arms or legs for $50. All proceeds will go to Avalon Housing, an Ann Arbor-based nonprofit that is committed to ending homelessness.
"There is going to be a lineup and no reservations, so we're advising people to come in as early as possible," says Lucky Monkey tattoo artist Carrie Metz-Caporusso, who is spearheading the event.
Metz-Caporusso says people can expect to be out of the tattoo chair within three to four minutes. She hopes to raise $10,000 on Saturday for a cause that is personally important to her.
"I just became a homeowner in December and it has been fulfilling to me in so many ways," she says. "I believe that if you have a safe place to live it can really make your soul happy."
For years, she has been sharing this sentiment with her clients and trying to bring awareness to Ann Arbor's housing issues.
"If you end up in my chair, you're my captive audience and you have to listen to me preach a bit," Metz-Caporusso says. "I always ask people to look a little bit deeper than the surface and recognize that our city has a problem."
Metz-Caporusso says she often hears that people don't know what they can do to help fix the problem. Some of her suggestions have included looking into local organizations who focus on the issue, voting responsibly, running for office, or talking to city council members.
"There's a million paths you can take," she says. " ... An easy start is getting a really cute tattoo this Saturday. It's sweet and simple and will make a difference."
Jaishree Drepaul-Bruder is a freelance writer and editor currently based in Ann Arbor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Metz-Caporusso photo by Anthony Franchina.