Oklahoma City Day Shelter Gets In-House Barbershop

Jul 23, 2019

Oklahoma City’s Day Shelter for people experiencing homelessness recently got an up-do. Rooted Barber + Shop opened a new in-house shop at the shelter on July 22nd.

Bryan Moore has been cutting people’s hair at the shelter for several years, but on July 22nd he gave his first cut in an actual barber’s chair.

“It's just a better feel instead of someone coming down here and making a bathroom cut,” Moore said. “It feels like I’m doing something good for the community. I'm being part of something great because we’re the first ones to be able to do this. So it's just very powerful.”

Moore and Rooted owner Bruce Waight’s sign up sheet was nearly full within an hour of the shop opening.

Emdee, who was 14th on the list, wore a hat pulled down low as he described his hair.

"It's just kind of off right now because I've been not going to work or nothing. I've been wearing my hat, but I just mainly get the edge in the back to let people know I keep it groomed."

Emdee has been going to the shelter since it opened, and he’s looking forward to the good feeling that comes from a fresh cut.

With the shop open at least once a week, he is grateful to not worry about missing out on haircuts given at the shelter like he did before they had a permanent shop. “There's other times I got missed out. My name didn't get put in there, and I got skipped by.”

Emma Collert, an intern at the shelter, says they’re looking for barbers to volunteer to cut hair for the more than 350 people the shelter serves everyday.

“People will always get a haircut,” she said. “It doesn't matter—there's always going to be need. And so the more volunteers that we have, we’re able to have a better outreach."

As of now, Waight plans to have Rooted open on Mondays from 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. With more volunteers, he hopes to be open for more days.

This barbershop is made possible through a collaboration between the Homeless Alliance, the Rooted Barber + Shop, and Bob Moore Subaru.

Licensed barbers and cosmetologists can visit rootedokc.com for more information on volunteering.