A NATIONAL charity which offers free hair cuts to homeless people has launched in Portsmouth this week.
The founder of Haircuts 4 Homeless said he was committed to supporting people living rough on the city’s streets and excited to launch the service in Portsmouth.
It is not just about supporting the homeless people I just want to help those who are strugglingCileste Makkink-Rogers
The national charity snips hair for free to those who are not in a position to pay for one themselves.
Cileste Makkink-Rogers, 25, owner at Be My Guest salon in Palmerston Road, Southsea, said she was nervous but excited to start.
She said: ‘It is a new year so this is a new challenge.
‘I am a bit nervous but I am very excited as I love a good challenge.
‘This is something I have always wanted to do.’
Mrs Makkink-Rogers discovered the charity on social media.
She added: ‘I think this is all about helping anyone.
‘It is not just about supporting the homeless people. I just want to help those who are struggling.’
The free haircuts are available at City Life Church, Tangier Road, Baffins, on the first Tuesday of every month.
Doors open at 9.30am until 11.30am.
Veteran hairdresser Stewart Roberts, 55, founder of Haircuts 4 Homeless said he was excited to see the charity grow.
He said: ‘I was inspired when watching online Mark Bustos [a hairstylist in Manhattan] cut hair for those who are homeless.
‘At the time I was volunteering at the Salvation Army and saw homeless people come in for some food.
‘I saw that what Mark was doing in America could be big here.’
Haircuts 4 Homeless has now been chopping hair for more than two years.
The charity runs haircutting operations in 20 cities across England, Northern Ireland and America.
Mr Roberts added: ‘The two nearest Haircuts 4 Homeless centres are at Brighton and Plymouth.
‘I am encouraged to see so many catch the vision and sign up to get involved up and down the country. We are growing.’
One man who had his haircut, and did not wish to be named, was very pleased with the outcome.
He said: ‘My head feels so much lighter. And now I have had my beard shaved it feels totally different.
‘I feel so fresh.’
The launch comes days after Portsmouth City Council announced its latest plan to improve the lives of people living in the streets.
The authority linked up with charity The Society of St James to offer shelter during the winter months, as well as a new integrated rehab service for those battling drink or drug addiction.