For Veterans Day 2016, Silver Lake Love teamed up with barbers Joshua Eudy of Joshua Eudy Hair in Jacksonville, North Carolina and David Bean of Dave’s Barber Shop in Daybreak, South Jordan, Utah to provide haircutting services to Veterans experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles.
We spoke to individuals from all the branches of the military and we heard their stories. Although all of the veterans we spoke to had unique and compelling stories, they eerily blend together in the culmination of life on the streets, whether the catalyst be drugs, alcohol, or abuse.
Eudy was inspired to give back to the veteran community due to his experience in the Army, and seeing up close the effects of being homeless. Joshua is the founder of an organization called Haircuts Hugs and Hope, that specifically focuses on Veterans. Due to his background as a barber, this was one of the best ways for him to utilize his talents. In the future, Joshua hopes to expand Haircuts Hugs and Hope by even offering a mobile shower option for veterans to be able to shower after their haircuts. As we all know, it can be itchy after a haircut!
Giving haircuts is only part of what we offer. In addition to over 40 haircuts given to Veterans and those experiencing homelessness, we had the opportunity to listen to their voices, their hopes, and their aspirations of finding a place in this world, while providing our knowledge of resources and help along the way.
It is hard to grasp how much depth in which a small service such as a haircut can do for a person experiencing homelessness. Many of the people we talked to had not had a haircut in years. Can you imagine how it must feel? One veteran said it best when he stated ““It may not be much but you don’t know how much a haircut does for me, I don’t feel like a bum anymore, I feel like I can go out there and people will take me seriously when I look for a job.”
Happy Veterans day to all Americans and a big hug to the members of our country that fight for our justice, liberty and freedom.