For the last 25 years, the man known as Joe the Barber has been offering homeless people in Hartford, Connecticut free haircuts in the park. They walk away sporting a new look, but also with new pride.
For payment? He’ll take a hug.
In 1988 he began offering his services to those in need after he had just retired. Inspiring words from a church sermon gave him the idea that if he could change the appearance of those less fortunate, maybe they could experience the world a little kinder.
He began in shelters and nursing homes, moved to the YMCA, but eventually the 82-year-old settled on an outdoor location near Bushnell Park.
Every Wednesday, unless he is on holiday in Florida, the nearby wooden benches are packed with homeless people — and any other people — waiting for a relaxing haircut and a shave.