Calgary homeless get free haircuts at inaugural People Over Money event
Organizer hopes cleaned-up looks will help people in their search for employment
Free trims were being offered Wednesday to help cut down the barriers homeless people face while trying to get ahead.
- Calgary homeless shelters struggling amid economic slump
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Volunteer barbers set up a station outside the Drop-In Centre downtown, and client Leslie Whitehead said he was "very grateful" to be in the hands of a professional after previously letting a friend lop his locks.
"I think he messed up my hair," he said.
Whitehead has been living on Calgary's streets since 2007 after moving from Saskatchewan.
He said his heart will forever be broken after his daughter was murdered, but he has been trying to turn things around in his life and is looking for work — a task made easier with a neat head of hair.
"I really appreciate they're here ... because people need help, right?"
People Over Money
The event, called People Over Money, offered haircuts at no cost to members of the homeless community.
Calgary-based London Barbers offered three professional chairs to stylists volunteering their time for the event.
"The most important thing is to put other people before yourself," said organizer and barber Fredy Pintor.
He hopes the cleaned-up looks will help boost clients' chances of finding work.
"Now that it's starting to get a little bit cold, we are just trying to spread a good word," he said.
Based on turnout at this inaugural event, Pintor said he's looking at doing it all over again next year.