by Rachelle Cruz, ABS-CBN News
TORONTO, ONTARIO — Born and raised in Mississauga, this 30-year-old Filipino-Canadian was inspired to cut hair for the homeless, after seeing on Instagram that a Fil-Am in New York had done the same.
Since he’s already a part-time barber, he decided to take it to the streets and give back.
Anthony De Leon has been cutting hair for the homeless since last year, at least once a month, through his foundation Cuts for the Homeless.
“I’m just doing this so hopefully the other barbers in the community see what I’m doing, and they can do it themselves too and maybe we can team up with other barbers and we can all do a big event.”
He says what he’s doing for the less fortunate is important because most of them can’t afford to get haircuts. Getting groomed helps them build their self confidence.
Cuts for the Homeless partnered with Compassion in Motion, not just to give free hair cuts, but to also give out food to the homeless people in Toronto.
The group of young volunteers huddle at downtown City Hall before they go out to their mission.
“What I wanted to do was sit down with them, and talk to them, and find out how did they get there, what can I do for them personally, and I came up with this idea that I wanted to have a deeper connection people that we were serving,” said Compassion in Motion founder Kal Ramos.
They get their funding from personal donations and some from companies like Omega Sigma Chi, Aisling Discoveries, and organizations like Be the Change Movement.
As they walk along the streets of Toronto, some part ways and stay behind to talk to the homeless person they serve.
In Toronto, there’s an estimated 5,253 homeless people sleeping outdoors and in emergency shelters.
65% of all homeless in Toronto are men. 85% of outdoor homeless are men, and 93% of homeless people who want a permanent home.
Cuts for the Homeless will be heading to Philippines this November to partner with two shelters — Bahay at Yaman in Bulacan for street children; and Graces in Quezon City, for the aged.