Underneath Miami’s roadways, you might find people experiencing homelessness.
Local organizations teamed up Sunday in the City of Miami to provide fresh haircuts and hot showers to people facing homelessness. Plus hot food, clothing, and toiletries were given to those in need.
“We’re really trying to change the perspective of homelessness, right? We partnered with Miami Give Back that’s been doing this once a month,” Francky Pierre-Paul, CEO of A Different Shade of Love said. “We really wanted to hone in and let the community know that we have hundreds and hundreds of people outside living on the streets.”
Around 1,000 people experiencing homelessness are not in a shelter and almost 2,500 are sheltered, according to the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust.
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“The need is greater out here. Sometimes the shelters are too full. Sometimes you have people waiting 3,4,6 months for a place in a shelter,” Pierre-Paul said. “Coming out here and meeting them where they’re at, letting them know, ‘we see y’all… even though we pass you every day, we see y’all.”
The free haircuts give hope to those experiencing homelessness.
“I feel like a better, new man, like I can go out there in Miami and get a job and provide for myself and somebody else,” one homeless man said.
The barbers themselves noticed a difference in attitude as well.
“They come in and they’re kind of quiet, as they start getting cut, they look in the mirror and they see how they’re looking and feeling better about themselves and their expression changes,” one of the barbers at the event said.
The organizations behind the cause also called for successful businesses in the Magic City to step up and join their cause.
“I believe with great power comes great responsibility, so if you have issues like this, and you have a business extremely successful,” Alexander Gonzalez, the president of the Miami Give Back said, “we recommend you try and do something, make something, cough up some money and do it for the people.”