OSWEGO —  A local religious organization is providing the community with ways to sharpen their look and move forward in their life, regardless of their backgrounds.

Victory Transformations, Inc., located at 225 W. First St.  through the Ontario Street entrance of Pontiac Terrace Apartments is continuing their free haircutting event titled “Hair Cuts for the Homeless.”

According to Associate Director of Victory Transformations, Angela Livingston, “Hair Cuts for the Homeless” held their first scheduled event last year on Dec. 18 and will continue providing haircuts well throughout 2021.

“(Two volunteers) came down right before the holidays and provided haircuts to anyone who needed it,” Livingston said. 

According to Livingston, this service helps struggling community members move forward with their lives and leave good impressions on potential employers.

“If we have someone who needs a job interview, we can get them decent clothes and a haircut to match,” Livingston said. “As a matter of fact, one of the people who got a haircut at our earlier event, got a job interview that day.”

She said this is a first for Victory, but this is not the first attempt to provide styling services. In early 2020, they tried a similar service but couldn’t because of the shutdowns in early 2020.

“This is a brand new event for us. We looked to do something like this before, but then COVID hit, and we couldn’t.” Livingston said.

Before being able to host the haircutters, people who sought haircuts from the organization were sent to other hairdressers. “In the past, we would send you to places for haircuts and would pay your fees,” Livingston said.

Livingston explained the brief pre-cut process:

“When people go, they will have to pass a COVID screening and sign in at the front desk,” Livingston said. “The hairdressers will then call people up one by one for a haircut and style it. After the haircut, they can go on their way.”

The two volunteers, Dean Wright and Jenn Vrooman, will set up in the corner of their office to effectively socially distance.

Wright said she recently returned to her hometown, and is excited to be able to help the community throughout this year.

“We all have something to give,” Wright said. “Whatever people can give to others is a good step towards their recovery.”

According to Livingston, the haircuts are available to anyone in the community who comes to Victory.

“Do they need a haircut and a decent outfit so they can present themselves,” Livingston said. “Did they lose their job and they can't use computers to apply? Victory is more than a place to get some nice boots and a security deposit to move into a new apartment.”

Victory Transformations, Inc. has been helping community members who have faced challenges in life that have left them in misfortune since 2010. Victory provides various programs or services to aid the community as best as they can.

Their services include life coaching, healing rooms, a Roadhouse Café, emergency housing services and car lending services.

The first “Hair Cuts for the Homeless” of 2021 will be Jan. 15. between 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Following the upcoming date, subsequent haircuts will be available during the same time every other Friday during 2021.

“When people feel good about themselves, they feel valued, and that goes a long way to get people back on their feet,” said Executive Director Daun Whittaker

To learn more about the services available or “Hair Cuts for the Homeless,” contact Victory Transformations, Inc, at (315)-403-7681 or visit them online at www.victorytransformation.com.

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