Like nearly everyone in New York City, residents of our East Flatbush Safe Haven were in desperate need of a haircut by mid-July, if not earlier. Even after entering phase two of reopening after COVID-19, barbershops and salons could only operate with restrictions.
Thursday, August 6, 2020
A few team members at Breaking Ground's East Flatbush Safe Haven, including Resident Assistant Kyhna Davis, started to wonder if it might actually be safer to have barbers come onsite to provide residents with a cut and style. And after speaking with Hugh Ottley, owner of Lyfe Stylz Unisex Salon and Barbers, she and her colleagues started to think this plan might just work.
Health and safety, of course, would be the first priority. With plenty of outdoor space, staff found a covered area that could accommodate social distance and masking guidelines. And with extension cords carefully taped down, there would be plenty of power for the experts.
With a plan in hand, they set a date, and on Wednesday, August 5th, four barbers brought their magic to campus. The skies smiled down with a gorgeous afternoon, perfect weather for an outdoor salon day. A few hours later, more than a dozen residents were sporting new hairdos and and big smiles.
“My beard was down to my chest before. Now I feel like I look 20 years younger! And just in time to see my girlfriend tomorrow,” remarked East Flatbush client Robert while marveling at his new look in the handheld mirrors.
For Robert and the many more beneficiaries of the Lyfe Stylz level of service, it was a chance to look - and feel - good. For people who sometimes feel invisible, and who have faced incredible challenges, it was an important chance to see themselves - and be seen - in a new light.