PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — At times, we overlook what’s right in front of us.
“You become like part of the furniture. You’re just there,” said Anthony Messina, who has been homeless on and off for 11 years.
But there is one man with a vision to truly see those who, at times, feel invisible.
“It’s none of my business how they got in their situation. But I make it my business to help them get out,” said 29-year-old Brennon Jones.
Since January, Jones has been a one-man mobile barbershop – “Haircut 4 Homeless” – offering free haircuts to the homeless around Philadelphia.
“I look past their outer appearance. I look past whatever addiction they may have. I see the person for who they are,” he said.
He added that he has been able to make meaningful connections.
“My very first haircut, his name is Braden. I cut his hair on 15th & Walnut [Streets]. A few days later, I went to check up on him and he wasn’t there. I was hoping nothing bad happened to him. When we did catch up weeks later, he got offered a full-time job.”
He didn’t realize the eyes also on him; his mission caught the attention of Taper’s Barber Shop owner Sean Johnson.
“What he was doing down there, I was very impressed,” Johnson said.
So Johnson, who recently bought another space a few doors down from his own, had an idea: pay it forward.
“I decided what other way to help another brother out than to donate the shop,” he said.
The space, fully furnished, will be the home of Haircut 4 Homeless.
“When I first walked in here, I was blown away,” Jones said.
When he opens in November, he plans to dedicate Mondays to serve the homeless, partnering with shelters and stylists to provide transportation, a cut, and food.
“It’s a safe haven for me to touch and bless those lives that often we forget about,” Jones said.
One haircut at a time, he’s proving that with clippers and compassion, kindness can transform more than just an appearance. It can uplift a soul.
“I know there’s good in this world, especially in our city,” Messina said, in tears. “I would still be living under 95.”
With the help of the non-profit Pathways to Housing PA, the 54-year-old is moving into a free apartment.
These are the kinds of stories, Jones says, that makes his work worthwhile.
“Go out and conquer the world. There is still faith. I still believe in you in spite of your circumstances,” Jones said.