Hard times: Craven Community College barber gives back to community with free services

·2 min read
Students in the Barbering program at Craven Community College are pictured providing free haircuts to local residents.
Students in the Barbering program at Craven Community College are pictured providing free haircuts to local residents.

In today's world of steadily increasing prices for everything from food and gas to real estate and utilities, most people are looking for ways to save money, even if it's just a few dollars.

Craven Community College's Barbering Program is offering a way to support those in need. The program offers free haircuts every third Saturday of the month at The Omega Center, located at 800 Cedar St. in New Bern.

Donell Bryant, program director, said Kurtis Stewart was essential in making this happen.

Stewart, who runs the center, approached Bryant regarding ideas to help the historic building be utilized in a way to become more involved in the community.

The program serves approximately 40 people during the event.

"I want to use this opportunity to benefit as many people as we can," Bryant said. "I want us to be able to provide whatever resources we can to the community."

Bryant said students pitch in to purchase hot dogs, snacks and drinks during the event. Gently used clothing is also available free of charge.

"People can come and get a free haircut, a meal and clothing," Bryant said. "We really just want to help them in any way we can."

He is currently working on providing resources such as financial and healthcare experts and home ownership information.

"I really want people to have access to these resources that they may not know about it," he said.

The program started prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to precautions and mandates operated for two months before it had to shut down. The program was reinstated in January.

The next event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 16 and is open to all ages.

The Barbering Concept program at Craven Community College offers full-time and part-time hours and requires no prior experience. Upon completion of the 1,528-hour course, students will be prepared to take the North Carolina Board of Barbering Examiners exam to qualify as an apprentice.

Services such as haircuts, relaxers, facials, beard trims, roller sets, hair twisting and others are provided at the college at a reduced cost. For some individuals, such as residents of group homes, the services are done free of charge.

"We offer mostly any service provided by barbers and cosmetologist," Bryant said. The only thing we don't do is pedicures and manicures."

Walk-ins are accepted from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Monies received for services are used to purchase supplies for the students.

The next class begins on Aug. 15 and runs through Dec. 16. The cost is $196.60. Scholarships are available, according to the college.

For more information, call 252-638-7248 or visit their website.

This article originally appeared on Sun Journal: Craven Community College's barbering students offer free services