Stylist Hopes Corner

A stylist, right, works on a Hope’s Corner client during “Spa Day.” Courtesy of Mike Hacker

 

The nonprofit Hope’s Corner recently offered free haircuts to the homeless.

The service was the brainchild of local realtor Matt McCormick, who arranged for stylists to visit Hope’s Corner’s weekly lunch to cut hair April 28 as part of what he called a “Spa Day.” Twenty-one homeless men and women received haircuts.

Three stylists from Lisa’s Perfect Cuts in Sunnyvale volunteered their time and talents for the event, held in the parking lot next to the Mountain View campus of Los Altos United Methodist Church. A crowd was already on hand, as Hope’s Corner operates a free Wednesday lunch that attracts homeless, low-income and vulnerable people.

McCormick came up with the idea to provide free haircuts prior to the pandemic. He was inspired by Joshua Coombes, author and founder of the “Do Something for Nothing” movement, which started by giving free haircuts to the homeless in London.

“Being in the real estate industry, there’s a trend happening that I don’t like seeing,” McCormick said. “We’ve got the haves and the have-nots, and many are seeking shelter. This ‘Spa Day’ is a way to bring the community together and show support to our brothers and sisters.”

Although COVID-19 caused McCormick to put his idea on hold for more than a year, his persistence and interest in letting people know that they are loved kept his haircutting idea alive. 

The result – broad smiles and tidier appearances among the appreciative homeless individuals who participated.

Fred, a regular guest at Hope’s Corner’s breakfasts and lunches, was the second guest to get a haircut.

“I’m going to have her do it all – my beard and a haircut,” he said.

Afterward, Fred was thankful and upbeat.

“I feel good,” he said. “I hadn’t had a haircut in six months.”

McCormick partnered on the event with longtime friend Lynel Gardner, an activist, author, actor and playwright, who shares his passion for helping underserved communities. Both come from well-known athletic families. McCormick is the son of former San Francisco Giants pitcher Mike McCormick. Gardner, who attended Mountain View High School, is the grandson of former heavyweight champion Sonny Liston.

Although McCormick expects to hold haircutting events at Hope’s Corner quarterly, he also has bigger plans. Ultimately, he’s looking to attract sponsors to help launch expanded “Spa Days,” which would offer pedicures, facials and massages as well as haircuts to the homeless. He said he dreams of creating a template for replicating the program and having “Spa Days” go viral.

“If we get it right,” McCormick said, “we want to make ‘Spa Days’ something that can be done around the world.”

For more information on Hope’s Corner services, visit hopes-corner.org.