Every Wednesday in Hartford’s Bushnell Park, a barber sets up shop to give free haircuts to anyone who wants one—the homeless to longtime clients all pay the same fee: one hug.
Anthony Cymerys, an 82-year-old barber, sets up a chair in Bushnell Park every Wednesday to give haircuts to the homeless and those down on their luck, or anyone who happens to walk by and feels the need to trim a few inches.
Cymerys, known as “Joe the Barber,” has been offering his services for 25 years. He retired from a career in business, but after being inspired by a church sermon on the homeless, decided to get to work doing something to help the less fortunate in a personal way. He had been cutting hair for his family for years, so he took his shears to the street to help the homeless.
His mobile shop is very simple: a folding chair and a car battery to power his clippers. When the battery died one day recently, he just moved his shop to his car and continued like nothing had happened.
“It really is love. I love these guys,” Cymerys said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
His clients line up in the park, people from all walks of life. Many of the homeless also show up for the free meals provided by a local church on Wednesdays.
Photo: Jessica Hill/AP