Coatesville Barber Shop Event

Written on by Valerie Melroy

On September 12, Voice and Vision partnered with Bookman’s Barber Shop, Willy’s Family Restaurant, and Krispy Krunchy Chicken to offer an afternoon of free haircuts, food vouchers, and information on mental health, substance use, and recovery in Coatesville, PA. 

Professor Darryl set up his sound system to fill the air with music, featuring a prominent bass, and to allow Ben, Raymond, and John to tell their stories of recovery. Montreal, the intense poet, added his voice with change-inspiring poetry created from his brilliant mind and heart. Councilman Donald Folks spoke an encouraging word, and Mr. Ricky Campbell from State Representative Dan Williams’ office came by to offer their support too. Voice and Vision staff and volunteers greeted the neighbors, served snacks, and handed out bags of information and giveaways. They also provided direct connection to mental health and substance use services as needed.  

One young woman said she was on her way to use crack until she stopped at the event, received a food voucher, and bumped into someone she knew. Voice and Vision staff surrounded her with help, hope, and connections to services. Many men, unable to afford haircuts due to COVID-related unemployment, were transformed by the skill of Bookman’s barbers and offered help in other areas of need.   

The stories of recovery that were shouted out through the airwaves from the parking lot of Krispy Krunchy Chicken, proved no matter how low one gets or how imprisoned one feels—freedom, hope, recovery, redemption and healing are available to anyone and everyone. 

Watch Ben’s story here:

More than 50 people joined in the festivities and another 30 were reached by volunteers who walked the nearby neighborhood spreading encouragement. Mr. Bookman said it was nice to do something good in the midst of these bad times.

We thank Bookman’s Barber Shop, Willy’s Family Restaurant, Krispy Krunchy Chicken, all the volunteers, the government officials, and the staff of Voice and Vision’s Outreach and Education Initiative for coming together for an afternoon of HOPE and GOODNESS.    

Photos at the event:

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About Kathryn

Kathryn Lerro

Hi, I’m Kathryn Lerro, mother of two lovely daughters, wife of one fine man.

After 24 years of wandering (thanks to my husband’s Air Force career), we are back home on the East Coast. We currently live in Philadelphia where I enjoy writing, taking long walks, decorating my front window in South Philly tradition, talking to interesting people and eating great food.

As I’ve met people on my travels I’ve become keenly aware that most of us could use a healthy dose of encouragement. It is for this reason that I try to weave a message of hope into everything I write.

About Mindy

Mindy Haas

Hi, I am Melinda Haas, but you can call me Mindy.   A true introvert, I delight in solitude with a good book or a movie.  I like dabbling in nature photography while taking rigorous hikes.  I adore my husband who is a ton of fun.  He shares my wanderlust as well as my appetite for Indian and Thai food.  Very often, you’ll find us dancing to Cumbia in the kitchen while we make dinner.   We also love road tripping and exploring new places. (New England is our new favorite!)

Through my writing, I want to encourage and embolden others to push past the limits they place on themselves.  I want to help people see that they can accomplish more than they think they were capable of.


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