What is Operation:R3Born?
A haircut for some can be a simple purchase, but for others, it can be a decision of putting food on the table or saving that extra money.
That's why barbers at Hair Science are making a difference in people's lives, the best way they know how: by offering free haircuts to homeless people in Anchorage.
"We are just trying to make an effort to get guys cleaned up, groomed, feed them a little bit, and hopefully put a message of empowerment in their mind," said Shawn Idom, owner of Hair Science.
It's called Operation Reborn where homeless Alaskans can come in to get a haircut, food and job help, including tips and lectures.
"Me and a bunch of business owners got together and we are just trying to impact the Anchorage community in a positive manner, basically on the employment matter because unemployment is really high up here," said Idom.
Idom has seen it first hand how a simple cut can change a person's life.
"As a barber, guys come into the shop down in the dumps. By the time you hand them the mirror after you cut their hair or shave them whatever the service you give them, they do a 360 as far as their personality and confidence," said Idom.
Sammy Komokhuk is no exception. Komokhuk talked about the ups and downs he has gone through and how his transformation leaves him grinning ear-to-ear.
"I have been homeless for 30 years, I live in a tent I live day-by-day. I don't have no appointments. I thank god I wake up every day‚" said Komokuck. "I would like to say thanks to these people and the community for all they do for the homeless and the people who need help, I'm smiling."
With the help of volunteers at the event, Komokhuk hopes to get a job in a carving shop and hopefully one day give back to the barbershop.
"In the future, when I find a shop, I will have something beautiful to give them to hang up and say this is for what you guys do for people throughout the Anchorage area," said Komokhuk.
Operation Reborn will open their arms to the community on the second Sunday of every month.
If you would like to help, Idom says you can donate money or just help get the word out there so people know if they need a cut they can get one.
by Cassie Schirm, KTVA Feb 2018