Calgary

Calgary homeless get free haircuts at inaugural People Over Money event

Professional barbers offered haircuts to homeless Calgarians to help clean up their appearance for job searches while giving back to the community.

Organizer hopes cleaned-up looks will help people in their search for employment

People Over Money event

6 years ago
1:01
Free trims were being offered Wednesday to help cut down the barriers homeless people face while trying to get ahead. 1:01

Free trims were being offered Wednesday to help cut down the barriers homeless people face while trying to get ahead.

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.

Leslie Whitehead, left, sits in the chair as part of the event People Over Money. Organizer and barber Fredy Pintor snips his locks, hoping to give back to the community. (Colin Hall/CBC)

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.

The locks of homeless Calgarians are snipped by professionals volunteering their skills to give back to the community. (Colin Hall/CBC)

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