A haircut can go a long way for a person’s confidence, and Vernon’s Upper Room Mission is looking to offer that confidence boost to all.
The Upper Room Mission is seeking volunteer hairdressers in order to be able to offer a free salon service.
Amy Flater, volunteer coordinator at the mission, says the facility has received a donation of a stylist chair and a salon-style sink that they plan on using to create a hair salon in the basement of their building.
Flater says it would be great to have four or five volunteer hair stylists on rotation to be able to offer the free service once a week. How often the service will run will depend on the number of hair stylists that step up to volunteer.
“The more the better, because then we could offer this service more often instead of once a month … depending on how many people we have,” said Flater.
Flater said the mission still needs to spruce up the basement space with a fresh coat of paint and some plumbing work, but once some volunteers are locked in, the hope is to be able to offer the service starting in mid to late June.
The mission is still looking for a chair that can recline backwards for the salon sink, and has a few other salon items it still needs to acquire.
As for who might benefit from this service, Flater says she expects a wide range of people to come into the salon once it’s open.
“I think there’s a misconception about the mission in general that we only serve people who are roughing it on the streets or that are experiencing homelessness,” she said. “But we actually have a lot of people that come in that are either living off of government pension, which isn’t very much, or maybe they’re living off disability or social assistance, so they don’t have a lot of income coming in and they’re coming here to get some support and subsidize some of the extra costs.
“I do think that there will be a lot of our guests, no matter what walk of life they’re coming from, they’ll be benefiting from this service and excited about it.”
Flater says for someone who can’t afford a regular hair cut, this service could be a game-changer. The goal is to help people look their best for a job interview, a family gathering or for no occasion at all.
“It’s confidence, it’s a sense of dignity, and just feeling empowered that you’re a person and you matter.”
The salon would build off another Upper Room Mission initiative designed to keep the less fortunate looking their best. Last year they started offering free showers, providing a total of 1,750 showers to people in need.
Hair stylists wanting to volunteer can contact the Upper Room Mission at