Haircuts for the homeless

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) One woman in South Burlington isn't just cutting hair, but layers of stress. Kara Adams decided to give back to the community by offering free haircuts to those who are homeless.

According to the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness and the Chittenden County Homeless alliance, Vermont's total number of person's experiencing homelessness dropped about 30 percent from, 2018 to 2019. However, shelters remain full.

Hair, or lack thereof, can equate to identity. Vermonters feeling that homelessness identifies them had a chance to have their identity shaped and styled thanks to a salon owner in South Burlington. She recently took a few hours out of her busy schedule to give back.

It's been a long time since Donna Davis has had a professional haircut.

"Her mom usually cuts her hair," said Kara Adams.

The 20-year-old and her mother have been homeless for two years. Like more than 200 other homeless Vermonters last year, they're staying in a motel, The Swiss House in South Burlington.

"It's just been a lot of stress through all of it," Donna Davis said.

But for one day, Donna's layers of stress are being cut away, thanks to Kara Adams.

"I know that my hair either makes or breaks my day and I just thought that giving back to the community -- what better way could I do it by giving free haircuts to people in need or homeless people," said Adams.

After running her own salon in Saint Albans for about seven months, Adams opened up shop in South Burlington. Finish Line Cutz is normally a men's salon, but homelessness knows no gender or age, just heart break.

"Not everybody that gets the special treatment. Not everybody has the money to get a haircut," Davis said.

"Everybody feels better when they get a nice new haircut right? Does it make you feel better when you get a haircut? I know with me it does," said Adams.

"It means so much when we have caring individuals in the community who also want to help," said Ben Schnier, the community outreach coordinator for A New Place, a transitional housing shelter for Vermont's homeless. "It's these little acts of kindness that make the biggest differences. Providing a haircut to someone who needs it. If we all did one small act like this, every week, it makes a big difference."

"I just want to start the new year off great for everybody. It's 2020, it's going to be a good year for me. It's going to be a good year for you and give back to people," Adams said.

One woman's idea to shed stigma by shedding a little hair. The trim is free, but the gesture is priceless.