Who says you have to wait until you get to heaven before you get rewarded for good deeds?
Brennon Jones, a former barber, who most recently worked as a wardrobe stylist, much of this year has been doing what he loves – cutting hair, for free, for the homeless in Philadelphia, according to a report on TODAY Style.
The 29-year-old told TODAY Style, “Wherever I would see a homeless guy sitting on a corner, holding a sign or something, I would get out and start a conversation.” He drove around downtown with a tray table and clippers as his “personal mobile salon.” Then he would surprise them with an offer of a free haircut.
How did he get the inspiration for this random act of kindness? According to TODAY Style, it started one day earlier this year when Jones passed by a homeless person, gave him a couple of dollars and a banana. But the sight of the man haunted him.
Jones told TODAY Style, “I started to kind of beat myself up,” Jones said. “I felt as though I didn’t do enough. I missed out on the opportunity to potentially change his life, in a sense … to help out more.”
It hit him that haircuts would be a blessing to those in need. He told TODAY Style that he dusted off his clippers and drove around looking for people who might be interested. He remembers that first on-the-street cut on the corner of South 15th Street and Walnut Street downtown.
What happened was, Jones asked if there was something he could do to put a smile on the man’s face, other than give him money. When the man had nothing in mind, Jones offered a haircut and did it right on the sidewalk.
According to TODAY Style, after that, “Haircuts for Homeless”, was off and running. Jones advertised his services and posted livestreams of the haircuts on Facebook, which went viral.
But the story gets better still. Sean Johnson, 44, himself a barber and owner of two barbershops, for two years had an empty barbershop that he was trying to get going. When he heard through the grapevine what Jones was doing, he told TODAY Style it was a good match. The two met in April when Johnson spotted him cutting hair on a street downtown.
Johnson told TODAY Style that he noticed that Jones’ barber tools weren’t the latest. Johnson offered Jones a job at one of the barbershop he owns, but Jones didn’t take him up the offer. Months later though, Johnson had an idea that was on point. According to TODAY Style, Johnson told Jones if he wished he could have his empty barbershop so he would have a warm place to cut the hair of the homeless during the winter.
Jones told TODAY Style, that while he was “excited” he was confused. “I never considered myself worthy of being an owner of my own establishment,” Jones said, recalling the moment he went to see the space. “He said, ‘Well, this building is sitting. Do you like it?’ And I said yes, I love it. He tossed me the keys and said, ‘Because of what you’ve done for others, this is my way of doing something for you.'”
According to TODAY Style, Jones continues to cut hair for the homeless on Mondays — he calls them “Makeover Mondays” and also provides food and toiletries if needed — and opens the shop, Phenomenon Perfection, to paying customers Tuesday through Saturday.