'One stop shop for services,' Talbot House seeks volunteer barbers – The Ledger

Talbot House is in search of volunteer barbers. 
“Talbot House believes in being a one-stop shop for services and one of the services that is simple but boost people’s esteem is a haircut,” said Erin Martinez, Director of Development. “For a lot of people who are homeless that’s a luxury.” 
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The organization, which has two barbershop chairs for certified volunteers, had to cease providing the haircuts in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We had to suspend all volunteering on campus for the better half of 2020 and since then it’s been really hard to rebuild the momentum and to get volunteers back on campus,” Martinez said. 
Martinez, 28, says they would prefer someone with a consistent schedule but will accept any help that is offered. 
“We have people that share God’s love with our clients in that way, give them basic human dignity, help them prepare for interviews,” said Martinez. 
Martinez said beauticians who would like to donate their time and services are also welcome and that it is best that both barbers and beauticians bring their own products and supplies to use. 
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“We have had barbers and beauticians in the past to help with people with longer hair or people with extensions,” Martinez said. “They bring in their own products. We don’t really have the budget to afford a lot of hair care products.”
Talbot House also accepts donations for hygiene products, clothing, bedding and anything else that will help those in need. Businesses and establishments such as Publix, WaWa, churches, supermarkets and local restaurants donate food which helps contribute to the three daily meals the Talbot House provides. 
“Our mission is through the love of God to provide those in need with immediate basic services and also opportunities for long time life renewal,” said Martinez. 
The Talbot House was established in 1979 and has expanded into one of the the most comprehensive providers of services for those experiencing homelessness in Polk County.
For more information about Talbot House visit www.talbothouse.org or call 863-687-8475. 
Breanna Rittman writes news features for The Ledger. Send your feature ideas to BRittman@gannett.com. 

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