ROCHESTER, Minn. - A haircut can mean more to some people than one would think. A haircut helps someone look as good on the outside as they feel on the inside. For people experiencing homelessness in Rochester, haircut can mean the world. That's where the Rochester Salvation Army comes into play.
Before the pandemic, the Salvation Army had a volunteer come in about once a month for a couple hours to do up-dos and give haircuts. Now that things are opening more back up, the need is able to be addressed once again.
The Salvation Army is hoping to have one or two volunteers come in once a month to provide haircuts - mostly for people experiencing homelessness, but really anyone who needs one.
Five or six volunteers would be great to have a rotation for people - but even just one person could make a difference in someone's life.
"One thing we talk about a lot is how the way that people present themselves can often act as a barrier to them getting jobs or to them just interacting with people in a really normal and comfortable way," said Salvation Army Director of Community Engagement Rebecca Snapp. "It's something a lot of us take for granted. But if we're able to provide people with a haircut, then maybe that leads to them actually getting a job and a job interview - little things like that. It's also a very humanizing experience."
She said the organization puts an emphasis on making sure the community has the resources they need to feel like themselves.
"Just making sure people feel like they're always clean here - we always provide free showers and hygiene products," said Snapp. "But being able to come in and have a professional cut your hair, not someone in the living room giving you a pseudo-professional haircut, making sure people feel that they are presenting themselves the way they would like to present themselves. It's just a real dignified thing. We want to provide that for people if we can."