BURLINGTON, N.C. — Alamance Barber Institute is helping make over the looks and lives of those in need.
Karen Jones is one of them.
‘'I just want it to look beautiful,” said Jones while sitting in a barber chair.
She eats two meals a day at the soup kitchen at Allied Churches of Alamance County.
Jones lost her job in 2012 and has had a hard time finding work.
“I've had some fallbacks,” Jones said.
Karen’s story is like so many others in Alamance County, which is why the owners of the barber school decided to open its doors once a week for free.
"It's not about money,” said Martisla Cotton, co-owner of the school. “It's about helping somebody."
Every Wednesday, the school brings in a bus load of men and women from the shelter and soup kitchen where students like Jeffrey Masin cut, shave, and pamper those in need.
"It's just a good feeling," said Masin who is studying to become a licensed barber. "It gives me life just to help somebody else and not just being selfish throughout my day."
Many of those who come in for free haircuts come straight out the barber's chair and go on job interviews.
That's part of the reason why Karen decided to sign up. She hopes a new style helps her land a job she's interviewing for at a fast food restaurant.
“I can look presentable and businesslike,” she said.
She also hopes to feel better about herself.
“You go through a whole lot of stuff,” Jones said crying. “You don`t have people to help you.”
“I just feel special,” she said.