A volunteer hairdresser is seeing lives changed when she cuts hair for people experiencing homelessness.
People experiencing homelessness, or even in a transition period in their lives often cannot afford to pay for a haircut.
"We built a special space just for this. The program is to be able to offer haircuts and styling for our clients," says Luke Thiessen, the Communications Manager at Siloam Mission.
When the organization opened it's Buhler Centre, services like hair cuts and styling were offered to people free of charge.
"It's also a dignity thing and makes people feel cared for and special. It has so many bigger impacts on a person's self-esteem and if they go out looking for a job, they feel confident and look professional," he says.
A few hairdressers volunteer their time to give Siloam's clients hair care free of charge. One of those people is Miyang Lee.
"I'm a Christian. I wanted to help other people so I prayed asking Jesus to give me a chance to learn. He opened a chance for me."
Lee says her chance was to go to school for hairdressing. She grew up in South Korea and immigrated to Winnipeg.
"God answered my prayer. I wanted to volunteer and God opened the door."
Lee started volunteering with Siloam in 2020 during the pandemic before the lockdown, and she'll be returning this month.
"When I meet them, they tell me their story," says Lee when she cuts Siloam clients hair. "There are very happy and smile after."
At this point, Siloam Mission only has enough volunteer hairdressers to open their salon one day of the month. They are currently looking for more volunteers.
"We'd love to be able to do it once a week. If someone is considering volunteering, we work around people's schedules," says Thiessen. "It has a huge impact on people. We say homelessness is an epidemic of loneliness. A lot of these programs, hairdressing, health care, have that element of someone physically taking care of you, is very powerful for some of the most vulnerable people."