The Importance of a Haircut

Providing a Haircut to Someone in Need

Of the long list of daily services offered at the St. Paul Opportunity Center, haircuts are in high demand.

For many guests, a haircut can help you feel like yourself—and can make a difference in how the world treats you. However, it’s a service that is only available through the work of qualified volunteers like Alice Shea.

Alice, a Roseville resident and former salon owner, brings over four decades of experience to her Monday morning volunteer shifts. While clipping hair in the Opportunity Center’s sun-filled personal care room, Alice shared her story, why she chooses to volunteer regularly, and emphasized the importance of a haircut.

Coming Full Circle

“I retired from salon ownership and working a little over three years ago,” said Alice. Shortly after retiring, Alice heard about the St. Paul Opportunity Center’s new salon space through a friend. “She told me that this was just opening and that they needed volunteers” Alice explained.

Since then, Alice has been a regular volunteer. During the pandemic, when services like hair care weren’t available, Alice picked up volunteer shifts at the Catholic Charities Distribution Center.

Originally from Minnesota, Alice remarked, “I went to Barber School right here on Seven Corners! The Cossetta’s building used to house the Barber School that I went to.” Cutting hair in the same neighborhood fifty years later, Alice said, “I feel like I’m making a full circle here.”

A Haircut Makes You Feel Good

Alice, while touching up the neckline and eyebrows of her current client, noted, “it feels good to provide this service for people that might not otherwise be able to access it. To have your head washed and be given a haircut and some personal attention makes a big difference.”

Almost before she had finished speaking, Erik, a guest at the St. Paul Opportunity Center, showed up for his appointment with Alice and asked, “Hey, are you cutting hair? It’s been two years since I’ve had my hair cut.” Erik told us he had “been kind of going in with scissors” himself since his last haircut and described his hair as “a real mess”.

Unfortunately, not everybody in need of hair care can receive service each week. According to Alice, “there’s always people who come up and stop by to see if they can get a haircut”, who weren’t able to make an appointment.


Help Wanted!

Much like our programs, we know that the pandemic deeply impacted the personal care service industry. As salons and barbershops recover, we hope to get the word out that hair professionals can make a difference through volunteering with Catholic Charities!

Catholic Charities Twin Cities is currently seeking licensed volunteer hairstylists and barbers—especially those with experience with curly & coily hair. Scheduling is flexible with daytime shifts available Monday through Friday.

Are you a hairstylist or barber interested in making a difference? Email us at to get started!



1. Sign up for a Volunteer Shift: Catholic Charities has daily volunteer shifts available at a variety of program locations—it’s easy to sign up and requires no long-term commitment!

2. Contact Us About Custom Volunteer Opportunities: We welcome people of all faiths and will work with you to find an opportunity that matches your skills and interests. We offer both on-site and off-site opportunities for individuals and groups.

3. Sign Up for Our Email Newsletter for agency updates and opportunities to get involved!

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