Last fall, the Mayor’s Office of Domestic and Community Violence Prevention, in partnership with its Grassroots team, announced a new project in coordination with local barbers and beauticians – the Barbershop Project. To kick off its work, the Barbershop Project is hosting a Free Haircut Event at Comprehensive Community Solutions, 917 South Main Street in Rockford, on Monday, January 22, from 3 to 5 p.m. The public is invited to come meet barbers and beauticians, receive free haircuts, learn about the Barbershop Project and enjoy games and refreshments. Haircuts will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Barbershop Project highlights how barbers and beauticians, if provided the correct tools and education, can help interrupt the cycle of violence and support the mental wellbeing of clients. The Barbershop Project, in collaboration with the Family Peace Center, NAMI of Northern Illinois, the LIAM Foundation, and others, provides training on mental health, domestic and sexual violence, and community resources to barbers and beauticians so they are equipped with basic knowledge when customers present with these issues in their shops. Comprehensive Community Solutions, Northwest Community Center, the Community Life Center and NAMI of Northern Illinois are also collaborating with the Mayor’s Office of Domestic and Community Violence Prevention to facilitate monthly community conversations on topics related to mental health and trauma to destigmatize these issues and create safe places for discussions.