Northern Ireland news

Belfast barbers The Man Shack open up for homelessness

Dominic Kelly (left) and David Johnston (right) with the new All Equal t shirts. Picture by Ann McManus
Andrew Madden

A BELFAST barber shop has been doing its bit to help out the homeless this Christmas, offering a fee haircut, food and a warm drink to those in need.

The Man Shack on Wellington Place welcomed more than 60 homeless people yesterday, in a campaign run in partnership with OutsideIn, a Belfast-based streetwear brand and social enterprise tackling homelessness.

The barbers have also been collecting donations of warm clothes to hand out and are hoping to extend the campaign so that they can offer their services free of charge to the homeless once a month.

OutsideIn has created a series of T-Shirts to give away, emblazoned with the word "All" crossed with an equals symbol to make the slogan "All Equal" for the campaign.

Kenny Parker, owner of The Man Shack, said he was approached by David Johnston of OutsideIn with the idea and was more than happy to help.

"I wanted to do something to help out but I didn't know how to go about it, so to work with a charity that helps people on the streets is amazing," he said.

"But is about more than just today, we're looking at the bigger picture and want to do this every month, just to give homeless people the opportunity to come in, get a hair cut and they'll also get to talk to someone for 30 minutes or so.

"They get to open up and out of that can arise opportunity, because you just don't know who your speaking to.

"There's a whole array of reasons people can end up homeless, it really can happen to anyone. As barbers, we know how to listen, so that's what we're going to do."

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