Denver Salon Gives Free Haircuts to Homeless for Convention

CBS4 Denver reports Sly's Salon in Denver is providing free haircuts to the homeless in advance of the Democratic Convention. The effort was organized by Denver Human Services.

It seems to be a first -- don't move the homeless, clean them up. That was the work of one salon and the recipients didn't even seem to care if the Democrats were coming to town. Sly's Salon at 17th and Grant was offering free haircuts to the homeless Monday. "To give them haircuts and make them all spiffed up for the Democratic National Convention, because they are part of our community as well," said Ghandia Gohnson, co-owner of Sly's Salon.

One of the recipients said she doesn't care about the convention, she just wants to look good. [More...]

Nancy Kohfahl said she became homeless after becoming a victim of domestic abuse. She didn't care that the Democrats were coming to Denver. She said it was a chance to get back on her feet. "I wanted to look good for Nancy and now I do," Kohfahl said. "I'm looking for a job interview and a job and to get off the homeless streets of Denver."

CBS 4 Denver also reports there's some evidence police are cracking down on the homeless.

A businessman came up to CBS4's Rick Sallinger and suggested doing a story on how police are now cracking down on the homeless in the Park Avenue area. A minute later several squad cars drove up and began questioning people. One man was handcuffed, but later released.

Another approach: Free movie and museum passes and mass transit tickets. Denver police deny they are trying to hide the homeless:

Where are we going to hide our homeless during the convention? The short answer: We don't hide the homeless -- ever," Denver police and homeless advocates said in Denver's newspaper written by the homeless. The city says it is encouraging the homeless to take part in the convention week activities for the public.
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  • Display: Sort:
    There's something disturbing about the idea (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by andgarden on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 01:12:47 AM EST
    that we can "manage" homeless people, but we can't find a way to get them into a decent apartment and the help they need.

     "Don't tax you, don't tax me. Tax that fellow behind the tree."

    Russell B. Long

    When has our tax money been used to (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by JavaCityPal on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 02:27:04 AM EST
    end the homeless situation?

    This really seems right in character for this political party right now.


    What's disturbing is that they are (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by nycstray on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 01:21:05 AM EST
    only doing this for the convention. What about 3 weeks from now when someone else may need to look good for a job interview or want to get out of the heat at the movies or an art museum?

    There are homeless people in America, especially in cities. I say leave them out there as an example of a problem that Democrats need to seriously address. Then send them to St Paul so the Republicans can see the problem also. I mean really, why should a woman be homeless because she had to leave an abuse situation? Make her a speaker at the convention.

    that would be phenomenal (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by txpolitico67 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 09:12:53 AM EST
    to put a woman up there like that to speak about what it means to be homeless in America because of domestic abuse.

    2 bad it will never happen.  she's like the citizens of New Orleans post-Katrina:  a side of America no one wants to admit exists but is there waiting to be heard.


    they could have this woman (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by TimNCGuy on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 09:38:16 AM EST
    speak on Tuesday night when they move Hillary to Wed for her VP accpetance speech.

    nope (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by txpolitico67 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:35:12 AM EST
    I want Senator Clinton as FAR away from this as possible.  After the convention, she should be done with Obama.  This is his campaign:  that's what the media wants, his surrogates want and his voters want.

    Let them win or lose this on their own.


    Actually, I hope HRC does not get asked... (none / 0) (#17)
    by Shainzona on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:15:20 AM EST
    and if asked, says "No thanks!" to any VP attempt on BO's part.

    Also, I have heard that Denver could use rain, so I am starting my rain dance tonight, asking the Rain Gods to bless Denver with a mighty soaking - oh, say, in about a 8 days from now - might even ask that it last for a couple of days!!


    What a wonderful idea remembering... (5.00 / 0) (#13)
    by mogal on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 09:30:37 AM EST
    .."faith without works is dead."

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Steve M on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 01:58:50 AM EST
    This concept is easily preferable to other cities that have chosen to "beautify" themselves by providing all the homeless with one-way bus tickets.

    Maybe they can all become squeegee men! (none / 0) (#4)
    by andgarden on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 02:09:01 AM EST
    (That was for the benefit of Larry and TChris).

    This is a double-edged sword (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by txpolitico67 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 08:42:17 AM EST
    Okay, let's give the homeless a bath and a haircut so all the 'creative-class' types won't be so easily appalled at what a segment of our society has been reduced to.

    If I were a homeless person I would feel so condascended to. I would rather stay scruffy and unclean.  Like Eleanor Roosevelt said, "To comfort the afflicted you must afflict the comfortable."

    And whatever happened to instead of providing a safety net, let's provide a ladder.

    Brings back a memory (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 08:57:24 AM EST
    When I went to D.C. to protest the war I met a bunch of people there personally who I had only known online before.  In the evening we decided to get something to eat and began searching out a place in downtown D.C. and we came upon a homeless man sleeping on a grate.  What a clueless bunch we were, we didn't want to see him but there he was and we were supposed to be lobbying for peace and love and all that good stuff and we were clueless what to do at that moment so we did nothing.  Didn't even wake him and hand him five bucks.

    Free haircuts are cool... (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 09:11:38 AM EST
    free movie tickets are cool too.

    Just don't give the homeless or other undesirables the billy club and a drive to the edge of town treatment that was all too common in our past.  

    Giuliani, is that you? (none / 0) (#6)
    by rooge04 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 07:07:24 AM EST
    Since when did the Democratic Party start acting like Giuliani circa 1994?  Disturbing to say the least.

    To be fair - Giuliani was hardly (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 09:21:13 AM EST
    the type of guy to hand out free haircuts or museum passes to homeless people.  He intimidated and goaded folks in unfortunate circumstances.  I am not sure how I would characterize Denver's response to their homeless, but I do not think it is in the same category as Giuliani's intolerant and cold response to the folks in NYC when he wsa Mayor.

    Agreed.... (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 09:25:13 AM EST
    all Rudy ever gave the homeless was a kick in the teeth.

    This reads like the opening plot to (none / 0) (#14)
    by ran scot on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 09:31:01 AM EST
    Interface by Neil Stephenson.

    Jeralyn, thanks for answering my (none / 0) (#16)
    by Rhouse on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 10:03:11 AM EST
    question from the other thread.

    Homelessness and DNC (none / 0) (#19)
    by Denver on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:07:07 AM EST
    Denver's Road Home, the community's ten year plan to end homelessness, is issuing a clarification to some of the misinformation in the community as it relates to the Democratic National Convention and the homeless.

        Denver's Road Home has a comprehensive, long-term plan designed to put people into housing while addressing the underlying causes of homelessness.  In the first three years since implementation, Denver's Road Home has reduced chronic homelessness by 36%.

        We are not hiding the homeless, we are helping the homeless find housing. Ensuring the homeless have short and long-term housing has always been the priority of Denver's Road Home.  This is not new for the DNC.  Service delivery will be "business as usual" with a few extras during the convention to make sure everyone wanting shelter has a place to go.

        Bus tokens are available, as they are every day of the year, for the homeless to access the services that they need to live life off of the streets.

        Denver's Road Home is not aware of any zoo passes, museum tickets or other cultural activities being distributed to the homeless during the Democratic National Convention.  A clarification to this point was issued by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and can found on their website at www.coloradocoalition.org.  

        Denver's Road Home is working to ensure that people are safe and treated well during the DNC.  We're treating the homeless as we have been for almost three years.  We are, and have always been, committed to ensuring everyone has a safe place to be.  During the DNC, DRH will expand outreach services to get the homeless connected with services and shelter. DRH is also working with providers to expand facility hours, both day and evening, and to provide special programs for homeless youth.  DRH is also working closely with the Denver Police to ensure the safety and well being of people on the streets.

        We see the DNC as an opportunity to engage the homeless in the political process.  DRH is working with several providers to register the homeless to vote and to provide convention viewing opportunities for the homeless.

        The DNC is a great opportunity to educate our community and the nation about the plight of the homeless.  Denver's Road Home will be working to raise awareness about homelessness among convention delegates and the general public, just as we have with other large-scale events that have come to Denver.

        Denver's Road Home was here before DNC and will be here long after the convention is gone.  Denver's Road Home has been in place for almost three years, long before Denver was chosen to host the DNC.  It is a comprehensive, long-term plan designed to get people into housing and access to services while addressing the underlying causes of homelessness.  Because it is a ten year plan, it will be in place for many years to come.

    You can find more information about our community plan on www.denversroadhome.org.