NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — If you’re skilled in the hair industry, a local center that helps those experiencing homelessness is in need of your help.
The Four Oaks Day Services and Training Center is open seven days a week and provides a number of services to help people get back on their feet.
Last week, 10 On Your Side highlighted their Bike Back To Work initiative, which collects donated bikes, fixes them, and gives them to patrons of the center who need reliable transportation to get to work.
But since the pandemic, the center has seen a significant drop in volunteers and Corey Hampton, who is Four Oaks’ community resources coordinator, says they’re in desperate need of help, especially for their barbershop and salon.
“We have not had a consistent barber due to COVID and people getting different positions. We used to have a barber come once or twice a week. Now, we’re lucky if we see one every two weeks. It’s definitely a high need. Our patrons ask when our barbers are coming but it’s hard to give a date and time. We’re definitely looking for volunteers to be more consistent,” she said.
Skyler Rozell, who uses the center as well as volunteers, says he sees firsthand how badly they need help.
“I can see the need for help by how tired I am at the end of the day with the work I’m doing. The help is definitely needed,” he said.
Rozell, who also helps fix the bikes with their bike initiative, recently took advantage of the barbershop.
“I think I’ve shaved off about 20 pounds,” he said.
Rozell says he and many others there are appreciative of the services, which can make a huge difference in how they feel about themselves.
‘I’m a firm believer if you look good, you’re going to feel good. As soon as you look at yourself in the mirror, you say I like the way I look. You’re going to do better for yourself,” he said.
Rozell says getting haircuts also opens up the door professionally for them.
“Every since I got my hair cut, I got a job offer. It’s going from shaggy to militaristic high and tight. It helps you look more professional and sets you up for success,” he said.
He encourages those who can help to come out and do so.
“Any help is appreciated,” said Rozell. ” Any thought they would have that’s keeping them from coming out here, I can assure them their difference and the difference they’ll make to people is life-changing. I’d encourage them to come out here.”
Volunteers only need to bring their clippers or razors. The center has hair products but is always looking for more, such as braiding hair.
“What I’ve heard from our previous barbers is to give back to our homeless clients, they like to feel special, sit in the chair for 20 to 30 minutes and like to tell their story. Be heard and feel important. To be listened to is big for our patrons.
To donate supplies or to volunteer your time, you can call Corey Hampton at 757-266-7171.