Haircuts of Hope: making cuts while paying it forward

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NEW BRITAIN-- A Berlin-based stylist and New Britain barber have teamed up to help the homeless.

Since January, Taramarie Nocera and Travis Angelo have been offering what is called "Haircuts of Hope," a program in which they offer free haircuts to the homeless once a week.

"I feel good doing good for people," said Angelo, who works in a New Britain barber shop.

Nocera, who is a stylist at a Berlin salon, said, "I want others to feel how my clients feel when they leave my chair, others who can't afford that experience."

To date, the pair of stylists say they have given haircuts to about 75 people in need, transforming a back room at the Community Mental Health Affiliate's winter shelter building in New Britain into a mini salon.

Rising up from Angelo's makeshift barber chair, Kevin Finn said, "I lost my job a few years back and from that it lead me to be here and homeless."

Finn said a chronic health condition is the reason he has had so much trouble of late, but praised Angelo and Nocera. "They're giving from the heart. They're giving their time and their talents for nothing because there is a need out there."

Both Nocera and Angelo have designs on expanding the "Haircuts of Hope" program -- hoping they can inspire other stylists to follow their lead.

"It's easy to give back this way," Nocera said. "It really can make a huge difference and more people should do it."

To find out more about the program, Taramarie suggests contacting her via her Facebook page, which you can find here.