LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - At its first Thanksgiving feast on Thursday, the “Haircuts and Hope” group launched its “A Warmer Winter” effort to provide winter gear to homeless in Lubbock.
“The goal on a lot of our events was just to cut hair and feed people and this one I told all of the volunteers and myself to make this more about them,” John Romo said. “Let’s sit down elbow-to-elbow and show them, remind them of that feeling of having a family.”
In June Romo began providing haircuts for the homeless outside the Touch of Beauty salon at 2901 Avenue Q. He tells KCBD that after hearing stories he wanted it to be more than just a one-time thing.
“We’ve heard stories, all different types of stories, but even more than the story is just the conversation,” Romo said. “I had one gentleman come up to me and thank me. He said, ‘most people don’t even like to look at us.’ He says, ‘and you guys are out cutting our hair and feeding us and we just genuinely appreciate it.’”
“It’s a good thing because at least some people care enough about people that are less fortunate,” Etta told KCBD while getting her hair cut. “It’s a good thing.”
Aside from providing the warm meal and a chance to get warm gloves, hats or other clothing, Romo said he wants to end he stigma attached to homeless individuals. He said many people think of them as drug addicts or criminals.
“I’ve met veterans,” Romo said. “I’ve met old and young, all walks of life, people that don’t know how they ended up in Lubbock. Times went wrong for them, they get evicted from an apartment and before you know it they’re out on the street. Think before you pass judgment because they aren’t all the same.”
Etta said everyone goes through a hard time at some time. She hopes folks will refrain from being judgmental. She tells KCBD that she’s thankful to have this group to come to for assistance.
“[I’m thankful for] being at places that are considerate enough to be there for people that are down on hard times right now,” Etta said.
Any donations for the “Haircuts and Hope” group can be taken to 2901 Avenue Q during business hours.
“We’re taking donations of jackets beanies gloves, anything to make them a little more comfortable,” Romo said. “We haven’t had to experience winter yet. In January it’s going to be freezing out there. It’s a project we’re continuing until winter is over.”