ช่างทำผมช่วยตัดผมให้เหล่าคนไร้บ้านฟรี! มอบความหวังสำหรับชีวิตใหม่ให้พวกเขา

Joshua Coombes เป็นช่างทำผมชาวอังกฤษที่ไม่ได้แตกต่างจากช่างทำผมอื่นๆ ทั่วโลก เขาทำหน้าที่ตัดผมและโกนเคราให้กับทุกคนที่ต้องการ เพียงแค่ว่าหนึ่งในสิ่งที่ทำให้เขาแตกต่างจากคนอื่นๆ คือกลุ่มลูกค้าที่เขาเลือกมอบน้ำใจให้

ลูกค้ากลุ่มหนึ่งของ Joshua เป็นกลุ่มคนไร้บ้านที่ไม่มีแม้แต่เงินจ่ายค่าตัดผม นั่นทำให้ช่างตัดผมคนนี้ตัดสินใจมอบโอกาสด้วยการให้เหล่าโฮมเลสเข้ามาตัดผมที่ร้านได้ฟรี Joshua เชื่อว่านี่จะเป็นการมอบความหวังในชีวิตให้พวกเขาอีกครั้ง เพราะการเปลี่ยนแปลงรูปลักษณ์ภายนอก จะช่วยเปลี่ยนตัวตนข้างในได้ด้วย

มาดูความเปลี่ยนแปลงที่เกิดขึ้นกันเถอะ

 

1. Benjamin จาก Los Angeles

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This is Benjamin, 38 years old. Currently, he’s sleeping near Nuestra Señora Reina de Los Angeles Church, near Union Station. I asked him what brought him here – “Before, I was sleeping by a bridge beneath a highway in the Valley. There’s a tent encampment there but it was a toxic place for me. I was hooked on crystal meth and doing anything I could to survive. When you have nothing, everyday is a struggle to keep things moving towards the next. I had to get away from that. One night, when I was in a really dark place in my mind, I tuned in to a deeper voice that was talking to me. I feel like that voice was God telling me to change my life. I haven’t been clean for very long, but I’m trying. I’m going to work. I want a job where I can work as much as I can and start to change things. I want a family.” As I was cutting Benjamin’s hair, he opened up some more – “I knew I was gay from an early age. It wasn’t easy growing up so I suppressed those feelings for a long time until I was out on the streets. Now I feel like I should resist those feelings again to live a good life. I know the church wants that. I don’t know. I want to be better…I want to be happy.” #DoSomethingForNothing

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2. Tod จาก Santa Monica

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This is Tod, 37 years old, from North Carolina. I sat down next to Tod near Santa Monica pier and we got talking. His journey across the country has landed him here on the west coast, arriving a few months ago. He sleeps on the street not far away. I asked him why he left his home – "Do you ever feel disillusioned with everything? That feeling hit me really hard a while back. Everything began losing it's meaning. My job was paying me just enough to cover rent and food each month with little to spare, then it's starts all over again. It felt like I was living someone else's life. I took anything I had saved and got on a greyhound bus. The road has been tougher than expected but the kindness of strangers helps a lot. I think I'm ready to head back to Carolina soon. I'm unsure of what I'll do when I get back, but I needed to get away from it all for a while." That disconnection Tod feels and the struggle of everyday life is something most of us can relate too. It's hard to combat that. What do you do when you feel this way? I was racing against the light to cut Tod's hair but I finished up in time to watch the sun go down together and talk some more. #DoSomethingForNothing

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3. Cedric จาก Paris

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This is Cedric, 42 years old. I met Cedric in Paris a few days ago on Boulevard Monmarte. He has been homeless for three years now. At first, I noticed the sign he'd made, which read – ‘Vote for me in 2022.’ When I said hello, I was given a big greeting in return, we started talking. I asked him where he had learnt – “I used to live in London for some years with my friends. I remember the carnivals so well, I loved my time there.” – It turns out Cedric and I have lived on the same street in Brixton, what are the chances! I do feel we connected almost immediately, so it was really nice to hear Cedric open up some more about his life recently – " I was holding down a job at a library near here. It didn’t pay all that much but I enjoyed my work. One day we found out the library was to be down sized considerably, so many of us lost our jobs. The drinking increased and so did rent on my apartment at the time. I guess I stopped caring. It wasn’t long before I became homeless.” Next to Cedric was his pal Dada. I could tell these guys were close and that they really helped each other out on the street – “I saw Dada looking at me one day. After staring at me for a moment, he broke into a big smile, we’ve been friends ever since. It’s important to have that when you’re homeless. I used to have an amazing friend that looked out for me, I suppose she was my step mother almost…” At this point, tears appeared in Cedric’s eyes, but he continued – “She owned a music venue in the 9th Arrondissement, it was the best place for music. Whenever I visited her she would feed me, talk to me and give me hope. I never had to paid. Always food and water, she would never give me alcohol. One week, I visited and she was no longer there. I found out she had died. It really broke me. I still think about her everyday.” When it came to showing Cedric he mirror at the end, his reaction said it all.

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4. Joshua จาก California

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This is Joshua, 24 years old. We met a few days ago on Venice Beach Boardwalk, CA. Joshua saw me cutting hair for someone else near the beach and walked over shyly to ask if he could be next. When I began cutting, Joshua spoke softly and slowly. His whole demeanour was introverted. He’d seldom look me in the eyes. I didn’t push for conversation. I just listened to what he wanted to say – “I’ve been wanting to get rid of this beard for the last couple weeks. It’s hard to find the chance to shave out here and it’s been so hot here recently. I was sleeping in a tent for a few months until it was removed in a ‘routine clean up.’ Before Venice I was staying in Torrance, near Redondo Beach. I had a room and was getting some help to pay for that. I was born in Louisiana but I left home early on. I didn’t have it all that easy growing up. But, I don’t like to talk about it all that much. You don’t have a choice where you land in this world…” As Joshua left, We hugged and I caught his eyes. We didn’t have all that much conversation, or get to know a huge amount about one another, but we shared something. I felt someone that had conceded more pain than he’d inflicted. He was so humble throughout. #DoSomethingForNothing

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5. Zack จาก London

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This is Zack, 33 years old. Zack is such character, it's hard to explain without actually meeting him, but this guy is awesome. He has a huge heart and plays a big role in the homeless community down at Charing Cross. I've met Zack plenty of times now, but today was the first time I've given him a haircut. He grew up on London near Upton Park and fell upon hard times a long time ago. Zack didn't wanna speak to me about family but said he hasn't got anybody to rely on here anymore. He's been homeless for years but wants a fresh start and to enjoy some of the things most of us have the opportunity to each day. I want to follow Zack's story and help him along. He hadn't had his haircut properly in ages so it was great to give him a makeover, I could see he was brimming with confidence afterwards. Giving someone back there dignity, even for a short while, makes it all worth it for me. #DoSomethingForNothing

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6. David จาก London

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This is David, 54 years old. We met recently near London Bridge. It was rush hour and David was sat on the ground, not far away from the train station. As I walked by, he looked up and gave me smile and nodded. I sat down next to him and we began talking – “See over there.” David said, pointing down the street – “That’s Guys Hospital, I was born in there. I’ve always been a Londoner. I grew up here and worked in and around this city for my entire life. This is one chapter that I couldn’t have foreseen… I had my own business. We cleaned up the big buildings and sprayed them down like new before they were refurbished. There were some big contracts for a while. I had a loving family also. My children have all grown up have their own lives now… my wife and I drifted apart recently. It all changed after that day, a couple years back. The day of the accident. It hasn’t been the same since…I was driving one night. We’d been visiting family outside of London and my daughter and her children were in the car also. We had a collision on a fast road. It all happened so fast. I won’t go into all of it… it hurts.” I could feel the pain in David begin to bubble to the surface. But also there was an honesty and a clarity in the way he was speaking – “l’ve confronted some feelings while I’ve been out here. I’m not happy I’m on streets. There’s no way I could’ve seen myself sitting out here. No way. But you know I’m what… It sounds stupid, but maybe I’m where I’m supposed to be right now. It’s shown me a different part of life. It’s opened up a different part inside of me.” When I finished cutting David’s hair, he insisted on walking me to my train platform. We hugged and David smiled and said – “You know what Josh, I think we brought back the art of conversation just then.” #DoSomethingForNothing

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7. Aman จาก London

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This is Aman. He has been homeless in London for the last four months. Aman didn't have any requests for how he wanted his hair apart from saying 'Tidy me up!' – so I got to work. It was amazing to spend time with him and to learn about his life. He was very open with me, saying alcohol played a big part in him becoming homeless. 'Drink is the problem, it got to the point where I knew I was relying on it and that's not good.' He told me how it effected the people around him and his life in general. He talked about London being a tough place since living on the street and now realising he took for granted some of the amenities most of us have access to every day. It was great to give him a transformation, making him feel like his old self again for a while. ✂️ Every time I do this I learn, whatever the reasons contributing to someone being in a bad situation in their life, we have to treat them with love. It's the only way people. #DoSomethingForNothing

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8. Callum จาก Manchester

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I met Callum in Manchester recently. I’d just arrived in town with @gotvitaminc and we’d only been walking for a few minutes when we saw someone bundled up in their sleeping bag. I often talk about isolation. For a guy like Callum, it’s as real as it gets. . “I’ve been sleeping on the streets for a long time now…It’s hard to keep track. I always keep myself to myself. I find it difficult to trust anyone really…I’ve felt that way since I was I kid. I didn’t have any family as such. I was raised in care, so I was moved around a lot.” . Whilst I was cutting his hair, Callum pulled out a joint of spice (K2 in USA) I’ve ran into this countless times in the past. Once marketed as a Synthetic Marijuana, Spice is cheap, easily accessible, potent and highly addictive. A few years ago, it got a hold on some people I got close with, who slept on the streets in London. Two of those people aren't with us anymore. I asked Callum how it makes him feel. . “It just numbs you, you know..? I don’t know how else to describe it…It makes you feel numb to everything. It gets you to sleep. It knocks you out. It makes time fly and sometimes you need that out here.” . Through all Callum has been through, he had this smile that makes you want to smile with him. It only appeared from time to time, but when it did, I saw another side of him. A warmth that I wouldn’t have had the chance to see whilst walking past him on the street. #DoSomethingForNothing

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9. Spider จาก Miami

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This is Spider. 52 years old. He walked over and came and sat quietly in line for his haircut. “I used to have it all, man. The fast car, the apartment, the girls. The limits of Miami never stopped for me, I just kept going faster and faster. Cocaine was always by my side. Right there whenever I needed it. On my coffee table. In my bathroom cabinet. Inside the glove box of my car. All I had to do was reach out and I’d be back where I needed to be. I don’t know how it took me so long to realise that Cocaine didn’t love me back. I got pulled over by the cops one day. I had a large amount with me. I spent the next eight years in Jail… Life sure is different now. I had nothing when I got out. All those nights out. All the drinks. All the drugs. All the conversations. None of that leaves you with people you can truly call your friends.” I was brushing sand from Spider’s hair whilst cutting it – “I usually sleep out by Miami Beach. I’m always searching for a quiet spot so that I don’t have to worry about being messed around with too much. Yeah, life has certainly changed. I guess I’ve changed also. Perhaps this is it. Perhaps this is just another chapter…” #DoSomethingForNothing

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10. Travis จาก Alaska

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This is Travis, 21 years old. He was born in Point Hope, a small village in northern Alaska. At two years old, he moved south, to Anchorage, with his grandfather – “My grandfather told me later that he didn’t want me to live the village life so we moved us here. I still have lots of family up in the north but I don’t get to see them much anymore. I don’t know what my life would have been like if I stayed. I’m only 21 now so maybe I’ll move back one day.” We met Travis on the first night I arrived in town. It was about -10 degrees Celsius, he was huddled with a few others, all of similar age. It’s staggering how many young people there are on the street or staying in encampments in the surrounding woods around Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city. We got talking to the group and let them know where we would be for the next few days. Travis had a quiet way about him and always a smile. As if he was away somewhere deep in thought. At the end of the haircut He took a long look in the mirror before a big smile appeared – “Yeh man! I dig this!” #DoSomethingForNothing

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11. Terry จาก New York City

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This is Terry 27 years old. Boyfriend of Eveylon in last post. Definite restyle for this gent, he said it was time. Somebody tried to steal from Terry a week before. You can see the remains of a black eye and bruising on his head from this incident. Together, Eveylon and Terry have been sleeping on the streets together for six months. Last year, they shared a room in Brooklyn but as their drug habit picked up, things stared to slide financially. They were both open and honest about their addiction, as they were about their past. Neither one of them had the easiest of upbringings. Eveylon spoke of her last relationship before meeting Terry – "Looking back to my ex, I can't see how I let someone treat me that way. It was so unhealthy. I was feeling vulnerable already and just wanted love. That can blind you sometimes. He did some horrible things to me that I don't like to talk about much. It couldn't be more different with Terry. We respect each other. It's a love that I've never felt before. Someone walked past us on the street recently and said 'You can't be homeless because you're too happy' We haven't got much at the moment but we have each other and that's amazing." – I believed everything she said, I could feel it between them. They had this deep care for each other that felt unbreakable. It was if it didn't matter what the world has thrown at them, nobody can what they have together. Eveylon and Terry are on a methadone script now trying to work a programme towards abstinence. #DoSomethingForNothing

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12. Laurent จาก Paris

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This is Laurent, 42 years old, born in a small town in Brittany, northern France. He was next up in the chair after Cedric. They've been friends for a while now and look out for each other each day. It's over a year since Laurent's last haircut. Initially he was reluctant, Cedric kindly translated for him – "Laurent would like for you to do it, but he's worried about the condition of his head and that his hair is too dirty." This isn't uncommon on the street and I get asked about this subject a lot. Personally it's not something that would ever bother me but when working with hair in general, it's always good practise to check the head in front of you before getting started. I make sure I never run out of dry shampoo. As there were no open sores, this worked perfectly to make Laurent feel more comfortable for me to begin. During our time Cedric spoke more about Laurent – "He worked many jobs in Paris and had his own delivery business for a while. Like many others his rent was very high to live in this city. You can build a life but it's hard to maintain it. Any family that Laurent has are in the north of France but he doesn't feel like he can connect with them at present. For a while, he still managed to work while he was homeless but it is very difficult to keep this going." Like Cedric, Laurent doesn't seem to run out of smiles. Considering their current living conditions, I think that's pretty amazing. Such a joy to spend the day with these guys. #DoSomethingForNothing

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13. Charlie จาก London

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This is Charlie, 20 years old. I met Charlie last week on Regent street. I stood and watched for five minutes before I approached him. In a such a busy area, it's easy to see how isolated you could feel sitting out here all day without much in the way of acknowledgment from busy shoppers passing by. I met Charlie before a few months ago in a different area, I asked him why he chose to sit here – "With all the money around this place I suppose you think it would be a good option, but that can vary. To be honest, keeping in a good headspace isn't even about how much money you get out here. When someone has time to stop, you remember it." Charlie has some temporary accommodation to stay in at the moment with other young men of a similar age – "We're all looking for work of some kind, but most people spend their time on the street. I was sleeping rough before this and you learn how to survive." Charlie spoke to me a bit about his mother – "She's always suffered with drug addiction and it got a lot worse a few years ago. It's complicated. We don't see each other any more. If I had somewhere else to turn, I would." Charlie has this magic in his soul, you can feel it when you talk to him and see it in his eyes. There's bags of potential energy there. I asked him what he'd like to do to get a new chapter started in his life – "I've been thinking about working in the food industry, I don't know exactly what to do yet but I'd like to try that." Since meeting Charlie I've been in conversation some really helpful people about trying to get him some work and speaking to him on the phone also. #DoSomethingForNothing

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14. Guillermo จาก Barcelona

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This is Guillermo, 60 years old. He has been homeless for many years after moving to Europe from Argentina. As a younger man, he found work in Paris before moving to Barcelona. I cut Guillermo's hair on the street in El Raval, after visiting the @ArrelsFundacio nearby. The volunteers working there are just incredible. I felt the love and community sprit as soon as I walked in. People of all ages dedicate their time to help the homeless in Barcelona. What sticks out the most is the relationships between those in on the street and those volunteering for Arrels. Such genuine friendships and bonds that have been built and it really shows in the smiles I saw all day. Guillermo has been with Arrels since 2008  and uses many different resources. He is a great artist and collaborated with @HomelessFonts by sharing his typography. (Check out the work Homeless Fonts do to creatively bring people together to improve their lives) Soon, Guillermo will enter Llar Pere Barnés, a residence for the homeless as part of Arrels Fundacio housing scheme. He told me that the street can be a lonely place sometimes and that he doesn't want to live alone now, but would prefer to share his space and be with others. There was so many beautiful moments on this day. Seeing Guillermo's face as we hugged after his hair cut was definitely one of them ✌️ #DoSomethingForNothing

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15. Stefan จาก Dublin

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This is Stefan, 31 years old. Stefan is Slovakian, growing up in a little town near Bratislava. He was raised by his mother, as his father died when he was four years old. When Stefan was nineteen, his mother fell terminally ill and died within a year. It was after this point, Stefan told me he needed to leave – 'When I lost my mother it was tough, I knew I needed a change in my life. I stuck around and worked for a few years, but I had to get out and experience something else' – After travelling slowly through Europe, Stefan stopped in the Netherlands, where he managed to find some steady employment. He came to Dublin a year ago now, after the company he worked for went bankrupt. I asked him why he came here – 'When I lost my job in The Netherlands, I knew people who said they had friends that could employ me here. It was in in a bar, I would've been happy to do anything for a new start.' You might have guessed that when arrived, this promise never came through. With the money Stefan had, he stayed in a hostel, looking for work over the next couple months, to no avail. He spent his first nights on the street, where he's been for the last ten months. Stefan still has a positive outlook on the future – 'I'm young and strong and I want to work. I want opportunities. I think my situation will change, this is just where I am right now.' It was great to see a transformation in Stefan during the haircut, he got a a lot of compliments from people passing by. I asked him what he feel he needs everyday to help him – 'Life is so short, but we all have time to smile' #DoSomethingForNothing #Dublin

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แม้ว่าสิ่งที่ Joshua มอบให้พวกเขาจะเป็นเพียงแค่การตัดผม แต่สิ่งหนึ่งที่เกิดขึ้นก็คือ มันช่วยสร้างความอบอุ่นในหัวใจและมอบความหวังใจการทำชีวิตให้ดีขึ้นกับคนกลุ่มนี้ได้อย่างแน่นอน

 

ที่มา: brightside

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