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This World Spotlight was created on Aug 21, 2017 @ 05:03:04 am

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Healing Haircuts for Homeless:Making Others Feel Good

haircuts homeless.jpg

Margie Quinn cuts Richard Wentworth’s hair in a University District alley on Monday. The non-profit ‘Facing Homelessness’ offered food, massages and free haircuts to the homeless community as part of their quarterly “Feel Good Project,” designed to build community and help the less fortunate feel better. Facing Homelessness also partnered with the Urban Rest Stop to provide showers and hair washing.

Architect Rex Hohlbein started the non-profit after an encounter with an artistic, homeless man changed his perspective on homelessness. Hohlbein eventually started photographing the homeless community and sharing their photos and stories on Facebook through the Homeless in Seattle page. The page tries to connect the general public with Seattle’s homeless population and change negative stereotypes. The non-profit is still seeking volunteers to offer services in the future. Wentworth, who lives in his van, was just approved for Section Eight Housing and is in the process of looking for an affordable place to live.
Massage therapist Sarah Steilen massages a young woman from the homeless community. “I believe in the connection with people and we are all part of this community,” she said. “I love to help people and I can do that through touch.”

During late 2010, architect Rex Hohlbein started sharing stories and images of the homeless community through the Facebook page, “Homeless in Seattle.” He has photographed around 1,000 individuals from the homeless community. “People on the street feel invisible,” he said. “This act of photographing them is a way for them to be seen and validates that their life has been documented.”

ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Erica Medina, a hair stylist out of Seven Salon, cuts Stephan Milne’s hair in a University District alley. Medina saw the “Homeless in Seattle” photo project, and the experience left her wanting to feel more connected with the homeless community. “I had family who didn’t have a stable place to live,” she said. “It’s about making them feel loved and good about themselves.”

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