NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — At a barbershop on Granby Street in Norfolk, changing the world happens one cut at a time.
“You can help out,” said Nado Garcia, owner of the VIP Lounge. “No matter what position you’re in you can help out some way, somehow.”
For years, Garcia has been offering free haircuts from his shops on Granby Street and Hampton Boulevard.
Right away, he and his business partner saw the change it made for one young homeless man.
“A few months later the kid came back in here and paid for the haircut, had a job, had an apartment, had a car,” Garcia said.
Garcia and his staff used to go to the Union Mission Ministries shelter to cut hair, but that became too difficult once the pandemic hit.
He’s happy to accept customers – paying or not – into his shops, whether homeless, jobless or just in need.
“If you don’t want to share your story, we’re not going to force you,” he said. “You want a free haircut, it’s on us.”
Garcia knows that looking better translates to feeling better, but that’s not the only benefit of stepping into VIP.
“A barbershop is the first line of therapy,” he said. “When you come into the shop, you might have something on your chest you can speak about.”
A haircut may not seem like it holds the potential to change the world, but Garcia knows it can change a life.
“I’m helping who I can,” Garcia said. “If you help those around you, and those help those around him, that’s how you help the world.”