Chance for rough sleepers to look good

The free haircutting service is offered each Thursday to people experiencing homelessness

A free weekly haircutting service is being provided at Woy Woy’s CWA branch in a bid to ‘restore dignity, one haircut a time’ to people experiencing homelessness.

The Community Hair Project meets at the CWA building on 30 The Boulevard each Thursday night between 6pm and 8pm.

The project also aims to bring locals together, with local hairdressers giving up their time to make people sleeping rough look and feel great.

Founder, Christine Mastello, said since its inception four years ago, the project has been running from strength to strength.

“I started the project in 2017 when a mum came into one of my foodbanks and said she could not afford to get her three sons’ haircut for their school photos,” Mastello said.

“We paid for the haircuts and formed community hair project the next day… we are now in 135 locations around Australia.

“Across all our services per month we do around 200 haircuts [and] we give each person that sits in one of our chairs a gift as well… just so we can make them feel really special.

“A woman receives a bag with toiletries, a man receives a toiletry and food pack that is supplied by local group, Shoebox Revolution – we also take out new shoes and clothing to give away dependent on the location.”

The Project also offers the service every Monday and every second Wednesday at Kibble Park, and a monthly event at the Dooralong Transformation Centre, Coast Shelter, and Toukley Neighbourhood Centre.

Mastello said it’s a very rewarding program but one that’s also invaluable.

“The fact that we go back so regularly allows us to form solid relationships – they trust us, and we are then able to assist them with more than a haircut,” Mastello added.

“We also support three local groups that work with the homeless on the Coast – Knight MC, Coast Hands and Central Coast Disaster Relief, providing them with non-perishable foods, sleeping bags and toiletries.”

Maisy Rae