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Handsome men get hair cuts at Our Place Society in Victoria

Pizza, pampering and prizes given away as men made to look gorgeous

A fresh haircut is one of those things in life that can make someone's day just that little bit better, yet for the unhoused men around Victoria, it can make them feel human, said John Petersen, who attended Handsome Day at Our Place on Friday (June 14).

Petersen travelled from Ottawa to Alberta and then to Victoria, where he lives outside a church on "the main drag," he said. A haircut and free pizza might not seem like a big deal, but they make all the difference in the world to him.

"It changes the way people look at you," he said. "And people do look at you."

The event took a three-year hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, but restarted last year and added free drinks to the goodies given away this time around. Everything given away at the event is donated and would not be possible without the donations, said Erin Stott, an organizer for Handsome Day.

It was a day meant to inspire positivity and make people feel good about themselves, said Jennifer Caldwell, coordinator of volunteer projects at Our Place Society.

"They deserve to be treated just like everybody else," said Caldwell.

Stott started it by creating Beauty Day, where women can get their nails, hair and makeup done. Handsome Day was a natural progression. 

The Natural Hair Salon stylists provided their talents free of charge to around 20 men who came in searching for a new look. The stylists Emma Bargh, Chiara Cannataro and Erin Chief Water provided a range of different cuts and styles. 

The event ran from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., but another haircut day has been scheduled for June 28.

For many of these men, family or close support is lacking, and often, the haircut is the closest contact they might have had for a long time, Stott said.

"It is important because it reminds people they are cared for," he said.

About the Author: Thomas Eley

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