What started as a conversation between a hairstylist and a customer, turned into “a day of giving back”, for hairdresser Mark Hughes.
Hughes agreed to give “10 home less people a hair cut for free” to mark World Home less Day last year, which is commemorated every year on October 10.
And since then the hairstylist has made it his mission to help the homeless on his days off by offering free haircuts and styling. Hughes partnered with ‘Geoff Burton House’, a homeless shelter based in Cape Town to give the residents some pampering and love.
Brian Stenekamp, 38, said he had never been to a salon before.
“I normally wouldn’t have money to get my hair cut at a place like this. “I think it’s quite cool and generous of Mark to give his time and skills on his day off to help us out.”
Charlie Hare, 48, said: “It means I won’t have to cut it my self. I’d just cut it all off. Coming to the salon’s a lot of money. I know I need a hair cut. It makes me feel thankful.”
The men, all sporting new hairstyles, stay at Geoff Burton House, a second-phase residential facility at The Carpenter’s Shop in Roeland Street.
Kevin McIn tyre said: “It’s great not to have to fork out a lot of money. It’s saving on expenses. I think it’s great, a kind gesture. I just wish a lot more people would be that way.”
Hughes, owner of Get MARKed, said he believed it was important to give back.
“Hair is a very personal thing for me. A better hair cut gives people a boost. I’ve decided to do it on my day off.“
Marketing consul tant at The Carpenter’s Shop, Jane Mills said: “Mark is my personal hairdresser. I was at the salon and mentioned that it’s World Homeless Day on Monday. We came up with the idea to commemorate the day.”
“We believe in ensuring that people have dignity at The Carpenter’s Shop. The people at Geoff Burton House were previously homeless. Part of being at the shelter means finding a job,” said Mills.
“There’s a large homeless population in the CBD and it’s growing. If you’re a Capetonian, homelessness is your problem and we have to own it. “The home less population isn’t going any where. You can’t ignore it,” added Mills.
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