Last November, the Holy See announced that they would be opening three showers under the colonnades of St. Peter’s Basilica for the homeless. Now they will also open a barber shop and offer haircuts and shaves free of charge for homeless people.
According to the Italian news agency, ANSA, haircuts and shaves will be available to those less fortunate on Mondays. In Italy, barbershops are traditionally closed on Mondays, allowing for volunteer barbers to donate their time.
The initiative, which is run by the Office of Papal Charities, has also received a number of donations from barbers across Rome who have donated, razors, brushes, scissors, a mirror and a barber’s chair.
The idea for the showers and bathrooms came from the Papal Almoner, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski. The Archbishop had dinner with a homeless man on his birthday despite the man’s embarrassment because of his appearance.
During the meal, the man explained to him that although homeless people in Rome could manage to find something to eat, what they really needed was a place to wash. Upon hearing this, Archbishop Krajewski suggested the idea to the Pope, who immediately approved the idea.
The barber shop for the homeless, located in the same area where the showers and toilets are, will be officially opened on February 16th.