Andrei, who has been at the shop on Albert Road since June last year, said he had seen other barbers across the world offering the same and wanted to follow suit. The 33-year-old said: ‘In America, a lot of barbers have offered free haircuts to homeless people.‘As the number of homeless people in Portsmouth has increased, I, a Portsmouth barber, wanted to find a way to contribute to the community and help those in need. That’s when I came up with the idea of offering haircuts as part of this project.
Every Monday, Andrei a British Master Barber in Portsmouth, offers homeless people a free haircut. Father Marcin started bringing them to the shop to get their hair cut. This is only the second time the barber has done this, but they have already had quite a few people come in for haircuts. Most homeless individuals want all of their hair cut off, while others also want their beard trimmed. The barber is happy to accommodate any style the homeless people want. The barber feels that offering free haircuts is a good way to help the homeless people in the city, rather than just giving them money that could be spent on other things.
‘Father Marcin, from St Swithun’s Church in Southsea, comes to get his hair cut here and I was speaking to him about it.
‘Every Monday, the church offers homeless people somewhere to sleep so this month Father Marcin started bringing them to the shop to get their hair cut.
‘This week is only the second time I have done but we’ve had quite a few turns up.
‘Most of them want all of their cut off and others also want their beard trimmed, I do whatever style they want.’Andrei felt offering the free haircut was a good way to help the homeless people in the city rather than just giving them money that could be spent on other things.
He added: ‘This way I can give them a service they need but might not want to spend money on.‘It also gives them the chance to socialize and speak to someone like myself.‘You can see the joy on their faces afterwards and the difference it makes to them.‘I can see how much they appreciate it.
’The haircut scheme is part of a wider project being run by seven churches in Portsmouth. It offers homeless people the chance to sleep in a different church hall every night of the week. It has spaces for 10 people who have to check into the day service before being referred.
Lisa Butler, from St Swithun’s Church on Waverley Road, said the community has been really supportive in offering food and other services. She said: ‘Portsmouth has offered an amazing response.’