Local Barbers Give Free Haircuts to Vancouver's Most Vulnerable
Back in 2015, Cameron Sterling and Josh Malcolm wanted to make a difference in their community. Instead of focusing on their lack of resources or government influence, the barbers used what they did have, serious skills with scissors. One Sunday, they packed up their clippers and headed a few blocks over from their Gastown workplace, to the Downtown Eastside. Using their skills as talented barbers, they spent their one day off giving free haircuts to people who are often overlooked in our city.
From this act of kindness in 2015, a movement was born. ‘Street Thug Barbers’, founded by Sterling and Malcolm, has now provided thousands of haircuts to the underprivileged of the Downtown Eastside.
For Cameron Sterling, ‘Street Thug Barbers’ is a cause that signifies a full circle change. He has gone from being just another ‘lost soul’ on the Downtown Eastside, to a shining example of the potential that lies there. Now that he is reformed, sober, and happily married, he feels compelled to give back.
“You went through it in vain if you can’t help other people with it.” – Cameron Sterling
The simple gift of a haircut, can provide confidence and better chances at employment for those living on our streets. After 5 years of providing haircuts, the team at ‘Street Thug Barbers’ is still going strong! Every Sunday they head over to Powell St., to provide the free and valued service to members of the community.
“We got so many people who would stand up and give us hugs, and normally you don’t get a hug after a haircut.” – Josh Malcolm
From Monday to Saturday, both Sterling and Malcolm work for VICTORY Barber. They are a shining example of how using what you have can make a huge difference in our community.
“I think the baseline of what we do is just to pay it forward, be kind to your neighbours.” - Josh Malcolm