(CBS) — It’s a chance for kids in a struggling corner of Chicago to get a free haircut. But it’s turned into so much more.
It’s called Barbershop at the Library: a program where kids come in for a free cut that also changes the way they feel.READ MORE: Two Simeon High School Students, Both 15, Killed In Shootings Four Hours Apart
At Englewoods’ Longevity Barber Lounge, the conversation is buzzing about friendships and family, over a haircut or during a game of chess.
“The barbershop is the pillar of the community,” owner Kenneth Clayton Jr. tells CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole.READ MORE: A Day After Plainfield Mom Told CBS 2 She Was Keeping Her Special-Needs Son At Home Because Of School Bus Driver Shortage And Long Commute, District 202 Contacts Her With Solutions
“My whole overview of the barbershop is like a safe haven and education resource center,” he adds.
That is why his electric clippers echo through the nearby West Englewood library branch once a month, as Clayton gives free haircuts to kids in need .MORE NEWS: R. Kelly Does Not Take Stand In New York Sex Trafficking Case
“You would be surprised how many of them have no one to talk to or go to or even feel love,” he says.