Barber Grew Up In Fatherless Home, Now He Gives Free Haircuts & Advice

Posted On : 06/09/2017
For many men, the barbershop is more than a place to get a haircut. The barbershop can also serve as a therapy session.

Many people who have problems often don’t go to therapy sessions to talk about their problems, but, they go to the barbershop. For many folks, the barber or the salon is the closest thing to therapy they’ll ever get. Chris Turner, a barber from Ace of Fades Barbershop in Grand Rapids, knows all about the important roles that barbers play.

More Than A Haircut:

A lot of people that have problems often need someone to talk to but they have no one to open up to. In some cultures, seeing a therapist is a sign of weakness and many people scoff at the idea of sitting on a couch and opening up.  Godwin Heights High School in Wyoming, MI understands how teenagers, particularly young men, may need someone to talk to but lack the means. To provide those young men a space, the school’s theater dressing room created a makeshift barbershop where professional barbers give their time to give quality haircuts and quality time.

Duane Bacchus created a space for teenage boys to get groomed physically while laughing, sharing stories, and getting advice.

One of the barbers that gives his time is Chris Turner, a barber from Ace of Fades Barbershop in Grand Rapids. Having grown up in a fatherless home himself, he knows the importance of some quality time with a male. He was approached by one of his clients, Duane Bacchus, who works as a coordinator for the Kent School Services Network. It just so happens that Bacchus is a pretty awesome barber too.

In speaking with Fox 17 Online, Bacchus shared how barbers in poor communities serve as a man’s therapist. Often times, a barbershop serves as a bonding place for men to openly share their feelings and life’s events without judgement.

For me, growing up, the barbershop was the poor mans therapist, explained Duane Bacchus to Fox 17 Online.

The program at Godwin Heights High School program gives young men an opportunity to sit in a chair for a while and talk through life’s events with an adult that’s going to listen. The cost? Well, students are not expected to pay a monetary amount, however, students are able to earn Godwin Bucks for good behavior in order to pay for their cuts.

For some young men, a barber may be their only opportunity to talk to a male.

Tuner, is a professional barber, who doesn’t mind donating his time to help young men in the hope that it will help them grow into successful, happy adults. Like some teens, Turner grew up without a dad and by participating in the program, he is filling in the void of absent fathers. Turner is making sure that the young men look good on the outside and feel good on the inside.

A lot of the black community, we don’t have fathers at home, Turner explained. I was a person who grew up in a fatherless home, so for me to play a small part in that position where I can be that substitution, I think it’s amazing.

In case you’re wondering about a program for young ladies, don’t worry as Baccus hasn’t forgotten about young women. They hope to bring in volunteers to do hair and makeup for the girls ahead of school dances in the fall.

If you’d like to help out, contact Duane Bacchus at 616-252-2050 ext 2137 or duanebacchus@kentssn.org.

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