All the homeless who gather at St. Ben’s Community Meal in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, have the opportunity to get free haircuts. The service is provided twice a month by, primarily, four suburbanites who call themselves, “Barbers Without Borders.” There’s a lot to say about their particular ministry, their clients and how it all came to be. This story, however, isn’t so much about all of that as it is about you.
The St. Ben’s barbers—Monica Schultz, Bernie Cote, Judy Kinney and Alex Broeske—need your help or the help of others you might know.
Here’s why they need help:
- There aren’t enough barbers to serve the large St. Ben’s homeless community.
Here’s what kind of help they need:
- Volunteer barbers and stylists
- Monetary or in-kind donations
During a sit-down over coffee with the women, as well as a phone conversation with Executive Director of Capuchin Community Services Brother Rob Roemer, it’s clear that people interested in joining the barbers at St. Ben’s need to be (1) experienced with clippers; and (2) be non-judgmental and compassionate. The community’s guests have a hard life; some don’t always have good social skills and/or might be mentally challenged. They all, however, are very appreciative of the free haircuts.
Still interested in assisting Milwaukee’s Barbers Without Borders? Then please keep reading.
Some of St. Ben’s guests are very particular about their cuts; it’s not at all uncommon for them to ask for a bald fade, a low down bald or a high skin fade. Soon, perhaps, someone might even ask for a wide curly faux hawk with hair design. If this makes you think you need a little more training before you start volunteering, you’re welcome to watch any of the 4 barbers at St. Ben’s while they’re shampooing and cutting hair.
Currently, St. Ben’s barbershop is open for 2 hours twice each month (5-7pm). All the barbers and Brother Rob (not to mention the guests) would like to have it open for 2 hours every week.
If you or anyone you know is interested in cutting hair for the homeless in Milwaukee or making a donation to the barbershop, please contact Brother Rob at (414) 271-0135, Ext. 2215.
“This means the world to our guests.” ~ Br. Rob
- Julie Herpolsheimer deserves credit for the work she does with Barbers Without Borders. A retired nurse, she greets the barbershop clientele and keeps order by collecting guests’ names and scheduling their appointments.
- Gee’s Clippers is also part of St. Ben’s Barbers Without Borders. For details on Gee’s impressive barbershop and hair salon, call (414) 442-7588.
- Judy Kinney is the owner of The Hair Porch in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Her phone number is (414) 881-5971.
- Alexandra Broeske is a stylist at Salon Biddizza. Her phone number is (262) 343-4115.
- Thanks to Sean “Spanky” Caudill for talking to kimmunitee about his own Barbers Without Borders non-profit organization in Kentucky. For more information, see https://spankysbarbershop.com/ and https://www.bwb-nonprofit.org/. You’ll enjoy reading about Spanky and his barbershop.