Barber for the homeless surprised with own shop
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Barbershop owner Sean Johnson was impressed when he saw a younger man cutting the hair of homeless men for free on the streets of Philadelphia but wondered how the outdoor operation would fare during the impending winter.
So Johnson took the man, 29-year-old Brennon Jones, to a fully furnished but unused barbershop a few doors from his own. Then he tossed Jones the keys and said, “It’s yours.”
“Then he walked out,” Jones told Philly.com.
Jones celebrated the opening of his new barbershop, Phenomenon Perfection, during the weekend. He plans to spend every Monday providing haircuts, lunch and health screenings to homeless clients.
“For somebody to give you a building, for him to say, ‘This is yours, no strings attached,’ it kind of blew my mind,” Jones said.
Jones had caught the attention of Johnson earlier this year with his “Haircuts 4 Homeless” operation. Johnson offered him a job, but Jones politely declined. After cutting hair for 11 years, Jones decided he was happier doing charity work.
“It’s bigger than a haircut for me,” Jones said. “They look at me as the blessing, but I look at them as the blessing.”
Johnson encountered Jones again in October and asked him about his plans for winter, but Jones hadn’t thought that far ahead.
Johnson, who learned to cut hair in prison, said he remembered the chances other people had given him and wanted to do the same for Jones.
“You see a lot of bad things in this city,” Johnson said. “When you see something good, you just want to be a part of it.”
Information from: Philly.com, http://www.philly.com/