Community comes together to support local restaurant owner

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Lansing, Mich. (WLNS)– Capital City BBQ has been a Lansing staple since 2015, so when the owner, Linh Lee posted on Facebook about the struggles she’s been facing with her former partner’s attempts to sabotage her business, people stepped up to help.

“I am a survivor of domestic violence. I came out of an abusive relationship in 2007 in which my ex attempted to kill me and so for me, whatever way I can give back to ensure that this is not happening to others,” Tanesha Ash-Shakoor said.

Ash-Shakoor is the founder of Voices of Color, a nonprofit which aims to educate and prevent domestic violence as well as empower victims and survivors. 

“Sometimes when we help survivors it’s not always in a traditional sense,” Ash-Shakoor said.

When she saw Lee’s Facebook post, she knew she needed to reach out to see if there was any way she could help her.

“In meeting with her and trying to figure out what was her needs, she indicated to me you know, I’ve been wanting to paint my building, I’ve been wanting to do certain things for my business but all her money has been tied up in legal fees fighting essentially what seems to be fruitless lawsuits against her,” Ash-Shakoor said.

That’s when she turned to Facebook seeking volunteers to paint the restaurant and was overwhelmed by how many people reached out wanting to help.

“You can’t even express it in words because it’s so heartfelt and to see the impact that it makes on others when you can just take one less thing off their to-do list when you can do something for them,” Ash-Shakoor said.

Not only did volunteers paint the building, a local artist names Ferrin Mitchell also painted a mural.

“If we can show up and support her in this way, of course, why wouldn’t we,” Amanda Thomashow, Executive Director of Survivor Strong said.

Thomashow and Ash-Shakoor said victims and survivors of any type of abuse often feel alone and that they want them to know there are people out there who will speak out for them and support them no matter what the circumstance.

“This today is all about realizing you no longer have to be silent,” Ash-Shakoor said.

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