A British Hairdresser Doesn’t Only Change Hairdos — He Changes Lives
Hairstylist Joshua Coombes has a very unusual hobby: he gives stylish haircuts to homeless people for free. Joshua realized that he can’t solve the problems of homeless people, but he can make his own little impact on their lives. He approaches them, listens to their stories, gives them a haircut, and then tells the whole world about each person. 2 years ago, he launched the #DoSomethingForNothing campaign, which united thousands of people worldwide.
Bright Side gathered for you photos of the most emotional moments of Joshua’s volunteer work and the short stories that stand behind them. Take a look, and you’ll see that even a small act of kindness can show that there is hope for everyone.
Joshua met Toby in London. He’s just 19, but he already lives on the streets when he can’t find a place in a hostel. He used to live with his mother, but they didn’t get along, and he left. Despite his hard living situation, Toby is a very friendly and optimistic person.
Terry and Eveylon
Terry and his girlfriend, Eveylon, have been living together on the streets for more than 6 months. They both had problems in their past, including drug addiction, which eventually made them homeless. However, despite all their misfortunes, they’re lucky to have found each other. Joshua says that their love and respect for each other make them light up from the inside.
Last December, Joshua unexpectedly met them again in New York and was happy to hear that they got married at City Hall.
Mark is 47, and he lives in London. He’s got a very interesting life story. His father was a military man, and the family had to move from one place to another, and it was hard for Mark to make friends. When he grew up, he went into the army and was sent to Afghanistan where he lost 2 of his best friends.
After his army service, he went to Australia, fell in love, and stayed there until his visa expired, and then he returned to the UK. Post-traumatic stress influenced Mark’s vision of life, and he ended up on the streets. He still talks to his girlfriend on the phone every day and hopes she’ll come to the UK.
Joshua and Cedric have a lot in common. They share an interest in reading, art, and good music. They met on Boulevard Montmartre in Paris and were listening to The Clash and David Bowie while Joshua was doing his job. Cedric liked to share the books he liked the most. “I could feel Cedric had a magic inside that even a harsh winter, sleeping on the streets of Paris, hadn’t yet taken from him,” Joshua says about him.
James is 25, and he saw Joshua in Leicester Square when he was doing a haircut for another homeless man. He said he wanted one too. He lost his dad a year ago, and he’s been homeless since then. It’s still hard for him to recover from this loss, but he’s got a dog that’s been a real friend to him. Joshua believes that even in his 20s, James still has a lot of time and inner power to change his life for the better.
Tod, 37, lives on the streets of Santa Monica. He arrived here from North Carolina a few months ago. He got sick of his days being the same routine, and he left for a journey. He said that only the kindness of people helped him survive. He plans to return to his home very soon. Joshua described Tod as a very open and kind person, and he enjoyed talking to him even when the haircut was done.
Petru came to London from Romania 8 years ago. He’s had a lot of jobs since then but ended up on the streets anyway. Being homeless, he doesn’t want to go back to Romania, and he thinks there is no place for him there. Joshua really liked talking to Petru and was happy he brought a smile to his face.
Reza moved to the UK from Iran 10 years ago. When his landlord kicked him out of his apartment, Reza had no place to go. He managed to overcome his addiction to heroin and now helps his girlfriend with her health problems. Reza received a lot of help from the local community and is now trying to change his life for the better. Joshua really liked listening to Reza’s story.
“When you cut someone’s hair, it is about trust. It’s a perfect opportunity to show a man some kindness. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what’s led you to this moment. I want to listen and learn,” Coombes says.
What do you think about Joshua’s decision to help homeless people? Would you help or pass by? Tell us your opinion in the comments.
Preview photo credit Joshua Coombes/instagram