Fryzjer Joshua Coombes ma bardzo nietypowe hobby: za darmo oferuje stylowe fryzury bezdomnym. Joshua zdał sobie sprawę, że nie może rozwiązać problemów osób bezdomnych, ale może zmienić coś w ich życiu. Podchodzi do nich, słucha ich opowieści, robi im fryzurę, a następnie opowiada całemu światu o każdej osobie. Dwa lata temu uruchomił kampanię #DoSomethingForNothing, która zjednoczyła tysiące ludzi na całym świecie.
Zebraliśmy najbardziej emocjonujące momenty z wolontariatu Joshua – zdjęcia i krótkie opowiadania, które za nimi stoją Spójrz, a zobaczysz, że nawet mały akt dobroci może nadać promyk nadziei.
This Toby, 19 years old. He sleeps on the streets when he can't get a place in the hostel that he visits in London. Some nights he can't afford it – "It's not always that easy to make enough money to get in somewhere each night. I don't usually sit around in the same spot all day, I move around a lot. I slept on the trains sometimes… I used to live with my mum but we don't get along anymore. It's difficult to talk about that stuff. We still keep in touch when we can but I can't live with her anymore." As I was cutting Toby's hair, a few people stopped to speak with us. He was so friendly and polite to everyone – "You've got to have people to talk to right? Otherwise you'd go crazy. I know I won't be here forever so I'd like to think I'd give time to someone else in this position." – It's difficult to think back in my biggest troubles at 19 years old and draw a comparison with Toby's worries at present. I hope things brighten up for him, he's optimistic. A conversation. I've seen how something so small can genuinely give someone hope. #DoSomethingForNothing
Joshua poznał Toby’ego w Londynie. Ma zaledwie 19 lat, ale już mieszka na ulicy, jeśli nie może znaleźć miejsca w schronisku. Kiedyś mieszkał z matką, ale nie dogadywali się i odszedł. Pomimo trudnej sytuacji życiowej, Toby jest bardzo przyjaznym i optymistycznym człowiekiem.
Terry i Eveylon
This is Terry 27 years old. Boyfriend of Eveylon in last post. Definite restyle for this gent, he said it was time. Somebody tried to steal from Terry a week before. You can see the remains of a black eye and bruising on his head from this incident. Together, Eveylon and Terry have been sleeping on the streets together for six months. Last year, they shared a room in Brooklyn but as their drug habit picked up, things stared to slide financially. They were both open and honest about their addiction, as they were about their past. Neither one of them had the easiest of upbringings. Eveylon spoke of her last relationship before meeting Terry – "Looking back to my ex, I can't see how I let someone treat me that way. It was so unhealthy. I was feeling vulnerable already and just wanted love. That can blind you sometimes. He did some horrible things to me that I don't like to talk about much. It couldn't be more different with Terry. We respect each other. It's a love that I've never felt before. Someone walked past us on the street recently and said 'You can't be homeless because you're too happy' We haven't got much at the moment but we have each other and that's amazing." – I believed everything she said, I could feel it between them. They had this deep care for each other that felt unbreakable. It was if it didn't matter what the world has thrown at them, nobody can what they have together. Eveylon and Terry are on a methadone script now trying to work a programme towards abstinence. #DoSomethingForNothing
This is Eveylon, 29 years old. She only wanted a trim but I applied some leave in conditioner as I was cutting to give her hair some much needed TLC. Eveylon waited until after I'd given her boyfriend, Terry, a haircut before deciding she'd like one also. They have been sleeping on the streets together for six months. Last year, they shared a room in Brooklyn but as their drug habit picked up, things stared to slide financially. They were both open and honest about their addiction, as they were about their past. Neither one of them had the easiest of upbringings. Eveylon spoke of her last relationship before meeting Terry – "Looking back to my ex, I can't see how I let someone treat me that way. It was so unhealthy. I was feeling vulnerable already and just wanted love. That can blind you sometimes. He did some horrible things to me that I don't like to talk about much. It couldn't be more different with Terry. We respect each other. It's a love that I've never felt before. Someone walked past us on the street recently and said 'You can't be homeless because you're too happy' We haven't got much at the moment but we have each other and that's amazing." – I believed everything Eveylon said, I could feel it between them. They had this deep care for each other that felt unbreakable. It was if it didn't matter what the world has thrown at them, nobody can what they have together. Eveylon and Terry are on a methadone script now trying to work a programme towards abstinence. Eveylon lost her I.D recently, she's trying to get a new one as soon as possible to get back in the system. #DoSomethingForNothing
Terry i jego dziewczyna, Eveylon, mieszkali razem na ulicy przez ponad 6 miesięcy. Obaj mieli problemy z przeszłością, w tym uzależnienia od narkotyków, co ostatecznie doprowadziło ich do bezdomności. Jednak pomimo wszystkich nieszczęść, mają farta, że znaleźli siebie nawzajem. Joshua mówi, że ich miłość i szacunek do siebie nawzajem sprawiają, że zapalają się od środka.
W grudniu zeszłego roku Joshua niespodziewanie spotkał się z nimi w Nowym Jorku i był szczęśliwy, słysząc, że pobrali się w City Hall.
This is Mark, 47 years old. Born in south England, Mark moved around from place to place growing up, whilst his father served in the army – "It was difficult for me to understand when I was a child. I had just enough time to make a new friend before we had to move on. Things became difficult with me and my dad as I grew up." In his early twenties, Mark joined the army himself serving in Kosovo then Afghanistan. He showed me some burns and scars on his arm – "It was while I was in Afghanistan, we hit a land mine. It all happened so quickly. Two of my friends at the front of the vehicle died instantly. After that, everything began to lose it's meaning. I left the next year." – Mark suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder for a long time afterwards – "I struggled to know what road to take after my time in the army. I spent some time with my mother before she passed away. I'm glad we had that together. I've been in Australia for a long time since then. I needed a new start. I feel in love there. I had to come back to the U.K. because of my visa. There's not really anybody I can rely on here anymore, I've been homeless since arriving back. We still speak every day though. I've got this cheap little phone so I go to a cafe and we speak on whatsapp for free. I have to get myself back there. Stupidly, I overstayed in my visa so it's going to be difficult. Maybe she'll come here. I hope so. #DoSomethingForNothing
Mark ma 47 lat i mieszka w Londynie. Ma bardzo interesującą historię życia. Jego ojciec był wojskowym, a rodzina musiała przenosić się z miejsca na miejsce i Markowi trudno było znaleźć przyjaciół. Kiedy dorósł, poszedł do wojska i został wysłany do Afganistanu, gdzie stracił 2 swoich najlepszych przyjaciół. Po odbyciu służby wojskowej wyjechał do Australii, zakochał się i pozostał tam aż do wygaśnięcia wizy, a następnie wrócił do Wielkiej Brytanii. Stres pourazowy wpłynął na wizję życia Marka i trafił na ulice. Wciąż rozmawia ze swoją dziewczyną przez telefon codziennie i ma nadzieję, że przyjedzie do Wielkiej Brytanii.
It's been great to see Cedric again here in Paris. I've spoken about our last meeting often and really missed him since. I visited the same street where we first met in May on the chance he might still be there. I guess part of me was hoping to hear that he had moved on and now had somewhere to stay, but it's only been a few months and I know things don't happen that quickly out here. When I called his name he turned around and out came that big smile. After a hug we started talking and I noticed Cedric had a black eye. He began telling me of some trouble that he'd gotten into recently – "There are so many kind people here in the daytime but at night it can change. There's a bar across the road that stays open very late at the weekend, some people can get aggressive. There was a fight that involved two men and a woman. It's probably my fault for saying something, but when I did I got punched a few times." Cedric had a meeting recently for some help to get into a room. He attended but didn't hear back – "I'm trying and always listening for places, but it's not easy. Any weeks which have steps forward usually have more steps backwards. I never planned to be here and I hope one day there is another chapter." – Although Cedric is still sleeping outside each night, the warmth of his character somehow remains. As I was cutting his hair, many people that know Cedric stopped to speak and compliment him. A man working in a building nearby, who saw us together back in May, went to print some photos that he'd taken on his phone for us. It had both myself and Cedric smiling from ear to ear. Connecting again like this is so important for me. I always try to keep in contact with those I meet to keep track of their journey. It can be difficult sometimes. The time o spend cutting someone's hair actually plays such a small role when you look at the bigger picture. It's about befriending those that might feel a lost right now. Don't underestimate how important your influence can be in making someone smile and feel good again. There might be something you love doing to reach out in your community. #DoSomethingForNothing
Joshua i Cedric mają ze sobą wiele wspólnego. Interesują się czytaniem, sztuką i dobrą muzyką. Spotkali się na Boulevard Montmartre w Paryżu i słuchali The Clash i Davida Bowiego, podczas gdy Joshua wykonywał swoją pracę. Cedric lubił opowiadać o książkach, które lubił najbardziej. „Czułem, że Cedric ma w sobie magię, że nawet ciężka zima, spędzona na ulicach Paryża, jeszcze jej nie zabrała” – mówi o nim Joshua.
@joshuacoombes – This is James, 25. James walked past @daveburt and I, on Leicester Square. I was in the middle of a haircut but I could see he'd stopped and was stood nearby watching. I introduced myself briefly and let him know that he was next in line for a trim if he wanted. James has a sad story. He lost his dad at the beginning of this year – 'After I lost him things got a lot worse for me.' I could feel his suffering and how hurt he is. There are some deep issues he’s fighting right now that might take some time to heal. Not being touch with the rest of his family, things spiralled for James after this and it wasn’t long before he found himself with no where to turn but the street. He tries to stay in a shelter when he can afford it but largely sleeps rough in the city, as he has for the last six months. Despite what this year has thrown at him, James smiles a lot. His personality is huge and there’s so much love there. It was great to laugh and joke together during the haircut. To see a transformation in confidence and self worth means so much to me. It’s hard to sum a person up when only spending an hour with them. But I know this – James is in his mid twenties, the years many of us will look back on as some of the best in our lives. He sleeps on the street with his dog and has to find motivation from somewhere each day to believe he can change his situation. It's not always choices that dictate your place in society. #DoSomethingForNothing
James ma 25 lat i zobaczył Joshua na Leicester Square, kiedy robił fryzurę innemu bezdomnemu mężczyźnie. Powiedział, że też tego chce. Stracił tatę rok temu i od tego czasu jest bezdomny. Nadal ciężko mu jest pogodzić się z tą stratą, ale ma psa, który jest dla niego prawdziwym przyjacielem. Joshua uważa, że nawet w wieku 20 lat James wciąż ma dużo czasu i wewnętrznej siły, by zmienić swoje życie na lepsze.
This is Tod, 37 years old, from North Carolina. I sat down next to Tod near Santa Monica pier and we got talking. His journey across the country has landed him here on the west coast, arriving a few months ago. He sleeps on the street not far away. I asked him why he left his home – "Do you ever feel disillusioned with everything? That feeling hit me really hard a while back. Everything began losing it's meaning. My job was paying me just enough to cover rent and food each month with little to spare, then it's starts all over again. It felt like I was living someone else's life. I took anything I had saved and got on a greyhound bus. The road has been tougher than expected but the kindness of strangers helps a lot. I think I'm ready to head back to Carolina soon. I'm unsure of what I'll do when I get back, but I needed to get away from it all for a while." That disconnection Tod feels and the struggle of everyday life is something most of us can relate too. It's hard to combat that. What do you do when you feel this way? I was racing against the light to cut Tod's hair but I finished up in time to watch the sun go down together and talk some more. #DoSomethingForNothing
Tod, 37 lat, mieszka na ulicach Santa Monica. Przybył tam z Północnej Karoliny kilka miesięcy temu. Miał dość dni, w których wykonywał tę samą rutynę i wyjechał w podróż. Powiedział, że tylko dobroć ludzi pomogła mu przetrwać. Planuje wkrótce powrócić do swojego domu. Joshua opisał Toda jako bardzo otwartą i życzliwą osobę, a on lubił rozmawiać z nim nawet po zakończeniu fryzury.
This is Petru, originally from Romania, living in the U.K. for the last eight years. He is currently sleeping on the street each night in Shoreditch, east London. Having held down many different jobs since arriving in the country, his last period in employment didn't end well. He spoke to me about this as I started cutting his hair – "I was working not so far from here, at a car wash. It didn't take me long to realise that the staff were not the priority at this place. I spoke to many co workers that were under paid and the company often didn't pay the money on time. Basically, they exploit people that need quick work. It's all in the favour of the bosses. I grew to hate it. One day I'd had enough and I left." I asked Petru if there is anything for him back in Romania – "I lost my mother ten years ago. My father died when I was a young boy. The reason I came here was because there is nothing for me in Romania anymore. I grew up and lived in a small town, there weren't many opportunities to grow. I needed a new start and to change my surroundings. I was happy for some years when I first arrived here, I guess I didn't realise how difficult it would be to live in London. One thing is for sure, there's no life for me back there now. I wouldn't know where to begin." I cut Petru's hair in an alley, away from the bustling high street where I had first met him. He said he'd prefer that. We did a lot of talking, I felt we really connected. The importance of giving someone their smile back, even for a moment, should never be overlooked. That stuff ripples. I don't know where I'd be without the people who make me smile each week. #DoSomethingForNothing
Petru przybył do Londynu z Rumunii 8 lat temu. Od tego czasu podejmował się wielu prac, ale i tak trafił na ulice. Będąc bezdomnym, nie chce wracać do Rumunii i myśli, że nie ma tam dla niego miejsca. Joshua bardzo lubił rozmawiać z Petru i był szczęśliwy, że wywołał uśmiech na jego twarzy.
This is Reza, 35 years old. Reza is Iranian and moved over to the U.K ten years ago. He has been homeless for the last three years. I asked him what happened and how he became homeless – "I used to live in a place in North London, it wasn't very big but my girlfriend used to stay a lot because she had problems of her own and needed somewhere. Unfortunately my landlord found out and didn't want to hear any excuses. He wrote me a letter without much notice to leave." – Reza's girlfriend suffers from schizophrenia and needs medication to keep on top of it. Reza was also honest with me about his own medicating at present – "I'm on methadone, I have been for two years. I got off heroin and have been on it ever since. I never wanted to start using heroin but being out here, you see a lot of drugs, it was the first year on the streets that was the toughest." My heart went out to Reza, he had such a warm nature about him that made you want to sit and speak all day. This is a very complex situation for him and his girlfriend. It gets even more complicated – Last year, Reza lost his documents, which makes everything much harder when trying to acquire any help from the government. But where there's community there's always hope. I saw a massive change in Reza's whole demeanour, just from the small time I spent with him. #DoSomethingForNothing @dosomethingfornothing
Reza przeprowadził się do Wielkiej Brytanii z Iranu 10 lat temu. Kiedy właściciel wyrzucił go z mieszkania, Reza nie miał gdzie się podziać. Udało mu się przezwyciężyć uzależnienie od heroiny, a teraz pomaga swojej dziewczynie w problemach zdrowotnych. Reza otrzymał wiele pomocy od lokalnej społeczności, a teraz stara się zmienić swoje życie na lepsze. Joshua bardzo lubił słuchać opowieści Rezy.
„Kiedy obcinasz czyjeś włosy, chodzi o zaufanie. To doskonała okazja, aby okazać człowiekowi trochę życzliwości. Nie ma znaczenia, skąd jesteś lub co doprowadziło cię do tej chwili. Chcę słuchać i uczyć się, „mówi Coombes.