A Kensington native is putting his best foot forward by providing those in need in his community with free haircuts.

For the past nine years, Joshua Santiago has been uplifting the community in his mobile barber shop, thanks to his non-profit, “Empowering Cuts.”

The non-profit was founded by Santiago back in 2017 to give back to underserved communities by cutting individuals’ hair that cannot afford it.

Léelo en español aquí.

Santiago keeps his shop open in Kensington three times a week for anyone who wants to stop in to get a fresh cut.

Kensington faces many issues as one of the hotspots of the opioid epidemic. Drug addiction and homelessness can be seen around the community.

To give back, Santiago specifically aims to help those affected by these issues, especially those facing homelessness.

“It makes them feel better, you know? It makes them feel clean, it makes them feel like they actually matter,” Santiago said. 

The Philly native notes that homelessness and addiction are not just a Philadelphia issue, it’s a nationwide problem.

Due to this, Santiago made it his mission to travel the country to give people in need fresh haircuts and so far he’s been able to do.

Santiago also spreads awareness about Kensington, homelessness and drug addiction through his social media platforms where he has amassed a combined following of over 600,000 followers and has videos with millions of views.

To date he has been able to give about 12,000 free haircuts and counting.

To the Philly barber, it’s not just about the haircuts he gives, but also making a connection with the homeless population he serves.

“The most important thing of this is being able to converse with the individual that’s in the chair. You know, it’s not always about the haircut. Something as simple as me being like ‘man how’s your day going?’ it’s something that means so much to that individual,” Santiago said.

Why is this so important to him? Santiago says cutting hair saved his life.

As a teen Santiago was in and out of jail while his own family suffered from addiction, but once he picked up a pair of clips he moved onto a different path.

The barber said, “it changed my life because it gave me purpose, you know?” 

Now, Santiago spends his time giving back to underserved communities all over the country, especially to the community close to home in Kensington.

The Philly native accepts donations to help reach his goal of “humanizing underserved communities all over the country,” on his website.

Brianna Fallon

Source link

You May Also Like

Jamie Apody of Action News splits with 6abc after months off the air – Philadelphia Business Journal

Action News sports anchor Jamie Apody, whose employment status had been a…