The Winnebago-turned-salon was inspired by a Franciscan nun.
By JoANNE VIVIANO
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Carlo Coleman keeps his eyes forward but turns his head to the side as he reviews his haircut in the mirror.
"That is the bomb," his deep voice tells the stylist who has just finished trimming his hair.
"I had it cut down," he says as he walks down the steps of the Winnebago-turned-salon. "It was getting kind of shaky.
"Usually I just shave it because I don't know how to cut. She surprised me. She cut it excellent. I'm really satisfied."
Coleman, a resident of the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley shelter, is one of about 25 to 30 Rescue Mission clients who got free hairstyling, makeovers and massages Wednesday aboard the Project Daymaker traveling salon.
The nonprofit Project Daymaker is funded by Fredric's Corp. of Fairfield, the distributor of Aveda Beauty and Lifestyle products in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Michigan.
Volunteers from Casal's de Spa & amp; Salon in Canfield boarded the Winnebago to provide the free services. Because so many wanted cuts, chairs were also moved outdoors in the shade.
"We need projects like this in the Mahoning Valley," said Casal's manager Kelly Reeder. "... We can contribute a little bit of our good fortune to people who used to have good fortune but fell on hard times. And it makes me feel good knowing I helped someone."
Reeder said the service has been provided at the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard shelter each year over the past four years.
The salon features a shampoo sink, three stylist stations and a massage station and is stocked with Aveda hair and beauty supplies and stylists' tools.
A goal is to help build self-esteem and self-confidence and assist the less fortunate to move toward a better way of living or into the work force.
Judy Collins sat inside getting a makeover after her shoulder-length locks were trimmed into a chic, short haircut.
"I love it," she said. "It's like being pampered."
Her 11-year-old daughter had a massage outside and came inside to tell Mom: "Daddy's getting a massage, and he's going to sleep!"
Outside, Richard Wayne Varble Jr. closed his eyes as a stylist massaged his head after a cut that trimmed his collar-length hair.
He smiled as she said: "He's real cute with it short. He's got real cool hair."
Now, how about the goatee?
"What do you think?" he asks, and she trims it up.
Project Daymaker driver Gary Whitney said the Winnebago makes 60 to 70 stops each year, serving 1,000 to 1,500 people.
On Monday, the salon visited Painesville, where 102 children received haircuts. On Tuesday at a Canton YWCA, 27 people were served.
The Project Daymaker began after Frederic Holzberger, owner of Fredric's Corp., met Sister Bonnie Steinlage of the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor in 1992.
Sister Bonnie, a licensed hairstylist, had been cutting the hair of the poor and homeless in Cincinnati, and Holzberger donated Aveda products to her.
They teamed up to create Project Daymaker in 1995.
It has traveled more than 52,000 miles to 135 cities, visited more than 250 shelters and treatment centers and served more than 5,000 people.
The Rescue Mission is a shelter that helps the homeless and people in crisis rebuild their lives by focusing on Christianity, education and work skills.
To reach the Mission, call (330) 744-5485 or (330) 744-5486. For information on Project Daymaker, call (513) 874-2226, ext. 218.