NEW YEAR, NEW HAIR- Stylists Casey Smith, Stephanie Faulkner, and Veronica Coit provided free haircuts for Haywood Pathways Center residents.

Helping Hands of Haywood collaborated with West Side Shears to host a hair cutting event for residents at Haywood Pathways Center Jan. 16.

The group has become an official non-profit organization whose mission is to protect and supplement valuable existing programs geared towards ending homelessness and advocating for mental health awareness and support in Haywood County and the state of North Carolina.

There were around 10 people and three stylists attending the January event.

“There was a lot of laughter and picture taking between residents. They had a really great time. The younger people seemed excited to get a haircut and the older people seemed thankful,” Nicole Kott said. “It was really heartwarming.”

Kott said that the organization plans to do this event four times a year and the next time the event happens it will happen after school and workhours to accommodate more people.

Housing is the number one priority to most people dealing with homelessness, but there are other things like transportation, groceries and other basic living expenses that can sometimes get in the way of that. Kott hopes that hosting these events will help elevate some of that pressure.

Before becoming an official nonprofit, group members were handing out hats, gloves and socks to those in need as a way to help with smaller issues.

“When you eliminate all these small problems, it helps make the bigger problem, easier to deal with,” Kott said.

Another upcoming event is a concert by The Remainders on Feb. 29 at Up County Brewery in Asheville. The proceeds will go toward the organization.

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