Barber B. JaWuan Jones is working to show everyone why Philadelphia is The City of Brotherly Love. Through his Haircuts4Homeless initiative he is doing his part one fade and shape up at a time.
During a recent transformation, Jones' commitment to giving back was reaffirmed by an unexpected reaction he received after cutting a man's hair by the name of Bill. It was a special occasion because he was celebrating his 56th birthday.
In a post uploaded to Instagram on June 4th, Jones shared a series of before and after photos with the caption:
Met this guy today named Bill who was celebrating his 56th birthday and needed a haircut. He told me to make it extra special, I did my best! Before I was done I noticed he was starting to get a bit emotional. He said ‘all I can say is God is Good! For the first time in years I can feel good on my birthday!'
His response was just as moving for Jones. Afterwards he said that he plans to do this “giving back thing for life.”
Is someone cutting onions?
Jones' wife gave him the idea for the initiative in January 2017.
“I was looking for a way to give back to the less fortunate but wanted to be different and unique. My wife gave me the idea to go out and cut a few guys hair. After social media took notice the idea blew up and Haircut4Homeless was birthed,” Jones told Because of Them We Can.
Four months after launching he quit his job as a security officer to focus on providing haircuts to the homeless population in downtown Philadelphia on a full-time basis.
“I’ve been a barber for 12 years. Gave it up because the passion wasn’t there. The passion was restored when I started working with the homeless.”
Jones' plans don't stop at the outdoor barber chair he sets up on Broadway and Walnut Street. He wants to do more.
"My goal is to open up the "Compassion Center," a homeless shelter and resource for teens and adults experiencing homelessness.
Until then, he's currently searching for a place to move the initiative indoors during the winter months.