New Barbershop Provides Free Haircuts For The Homeless
One of the region's largest provider of homeless services is opening up a barbershop in downtown San Diego.
The shop is called Village Clips and it's located inside Father Joe’s Villages main campus in downtown San Diego. It opened to the public Tuesday. The idea is to help men, women and children restore their dignity and build self-esteem.
"If you’re well groomed you feel good about yourself," said Father Joe's CEO Deacon Jim Vargas. "And then also as you go out on interviews you look better as well so it’s important."
Steven Neil, who said he has been living on the streets for the last six months, was one of the shop's first patrons.
"It means a lot to be able to get cleaned up and be presentable," he said.
Neil heard about the free haircuts from a friend and jumped at the opportunity.
"(Haircuts) make you feel more human again," he said. "Makes you feel a lot better, especially about yourself and everything else. You don’t want to go around embarrassed to talk to people because you look bad."
Neil said he is in the process of looking for a job.
"Get a job then you can work on getting something else," he said. "Getting a place — getting off the streets."
Father Joe's Villages plans to have the barber shop open seven days a week, in the morning for a couple of hours every day and during the afternoon on weekdays.
The haircuts are done by volunteers and the shop's hours will ultimately depend on how many volunteers it has.
Funding for the shop came from a private donor as well as some grant money from the city of San Diego.
The haircuts are not just for people who stay in Father Joe’s housing complex. The shop is open to all people who are homeless.
"They don’t have to reside with us they can just be on the street and they can come in and get a haircut as well as a shower as well," Vargas said.