DENVER (CBS4)– A Colorado barber is giving free haircuts to the homeless. People in need lined up at the pop-up shop at Civic Center Park in Denver, even in the freezing cold temperatures.
Taza Gillespie, owner of Fresh Fades by T, provides free haircuts and beard trims for the needy every Monday, weather permitting, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Once a week, Gillespie’s comb and razor trim the locks of people like Justin, who lives on the streets and sleeps in a shelter.
“How long you been homeless?” Gillespie asked Justin, as he began sliding the razor’s blade through strands.
“A long time,” Justin answered.
The makeshift shop, set up on the sidewalk near 14th and Broadway, is not as formal as the salon in Aurora where Gillespie works during the rest of the week.
He said many of the homeless who come to his tent for cuts come regularly.
“Actually, they’re my friends now,” Gillespie told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia. “When I come down here, they tell me about their day, their weekend. And they ask me the same thing.”
The barber of 15 years has been grooming the needy for no charge since November 2017.
“They get a shave too,” Gillespie said.
He cleans them up to put a smile on their faces. The makeover helps them look good so that they can feel even better.
“It makes me feel good too, because I’m able to give back,” Gillespie said.
“I like it, that’s cool,” Justin said, as Gillespie held a mirror up to show him his new ‘do. “Thanks for the haircut,” Justin added.
Gillespie said the cuts give them a boost of confidence.
“They get treated differently, and people treat them nicer than how they normally would treat them,” Gillespie said. “I’m able to help them build their self-esteem… have a new start.”
Gillespie is collecting donations including food and warm clothing the give to the people who he serves.