Homeless Get Cleaned Up With Free Haircuts For DNC

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 08/20/2008 - 11:41pm.

The City of Denver has been working to make sure everything is in tip-top shape for all the visitors coming to town for the Democratic National Convention, and now a local salon is helping in that effort.

It seems to be a first -- don't move the homeless, clean them up. That was the work of one salon and the recipients didn't even seem to care if the Democrats were coming to town. Sly's Salon at 17th and Grant was offering free haircuts to the homeless Monday.

"To give them haircuts and make them all spiffed up for the Democratic National Convention, because they are part of our community as well," said Ghandia Gohnson, co-owner of Sly's Salon.

Rusty Johnson hasn't had a haircut in three-to-four months. He said his appearance during the convention made no difference to him.

"I just want to look good and feel good for myself, that's all," Johnson said.

Free medical checks were provided and a bit of food to make the day even better.

Nancy Kohfahl said she became homeless after becoming a victim of domestic abuse. She didn't care that the Democrats were coming to Denver. She said it was a chance to get back on her feet.

"I wanted to look good for Nancy and now I do," Kohfahl said. "I'm looking for a job interview and a job and to get off the homeless streets of Denver."

It makes the homeless people feel better and those giving the haircuts as well.

"It's a heart-felt reward to give to the community and get it back," Kohfahl said.

Release for Denver's Road Home:

Denver's Road Home, the community's ten year plan to end homelessness, is issuing a clarification to some of the misinformation in the community as it relates to the Democratic National Convention and the homeless. 

1. Denver's Road Home has a comprehensive, long-term plan designed to put people into housing while addressing the underlying causes of homelessness.  In the first three years since implementation, Denver's Road Home has reduced chronic homelessness by 36 percent.

2. We are not hiding the homeless, we are helping the homeless find housing. Ensuring the homeless have short and long-term housing has always been the priority of Denver's Road Home.  This is not new for the DNC.  Service delivery will be "business as usual" with a few extras during the convention to make sure everyone wanting shelter has a place to go.

3. Bus tokens are available, as they are every day of the year, for the homeless to access the services that they need to live life off of the streets.

4. Denver's Road Home is not aware of any zoo passes, museum tickets or other cultural activities being distributed to the homeless during the Democratic National Convention.  A clarification to this point was issued by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and can found on their website at www.coloradocoalition.org

5. Denver's Road Home is working to ensure that people are safe and treated well during the DNC.  We're treating the homeless as we have been for almost three years.  We are, and have always been, committed to ensuring everyone has a safe place to be.  During the DNC, DRH will expand outreach services to get the homeless connected with services and shelter. DRH is also working with providers to expand facility hours, both day and evening, and to provide special programs for homeless youth.  DRH is also working closely with the Denver Police to ensure the safety and well being of people on the streets.

6. We see the DNC as an opportunity to engage the homeless in the political process.  DRH is working with several providers to register the homeless to vote and to provide convention viewing opportunities for the homeless.

7. The DNC is a great opportunity to educate our community and the nation about the plight of the homeless.  Denver's Road Home will be working to raise awareness about homelessness among convention delegates and the general public, just as we have with other large-scale events that have come to Denver.

8. Denver's Road Home was here before DNC and will be here long after the convention is gone.  Denver's Road Home has been in place for almost three years, long before Denver was chosen to host the DNC.  It is a comprehensive, long-term plan designed to get people into housing and access to services while addressing the underlying causes of homelessness.  Because it is a ten year plan, it will be in place for many years to come.

August 20, 2008 - source CBS4

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 08/20/2008 - 11:41pm.


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