Some people aren’t as lucky as others. Life treats them way worse and they end up at the bottom. Losing their home, family. Made to roam the streets hoping to find cans and other goods in order to survive and eat. That’s what happened to João Coelho Guimarães. He is 45 years old and has spent 3 of those years living in the streets without a roof over his head.
But his luck was about to change when barbershop employees offered to give him a haircut: “He came and we asked him if he was hungry and if he wanted something to eat. But he refused and asked if we had a razor so he could trim his beard. That’s when we had the idea and everyone who was at the store decided to help him in a different way, providing him with a day of beauty,” said Alessandro to the digital platform UOL.
The barbershop not only gave him a haircut, trimmed his beard, and washed him up, but also gave him clothes: three shirts, a pair of pants, a jacket, and new shoes. Little did they know that after they shared pictures of João’s transformation, his family would see them and finally find João after thinking he’d been dead for 10 years.
This is João Coelho Guimarães, who came into the barbershop and asked if he could trim his beard
Image credits: padoooficial
We asked Alessandro, the owner of the barbershop, some questions about the event, and here’s what he had to say when asked why they decided to help João: “We decided to help him because we saw the extreme need he had. We made friends with him over the past two months. And when he asked us for a razor, we welcomed him and gave him the full experience.”
The workers there took him in with open arms and offered him something better than that
“We have some social aid projects, and for us, it is very gratifying to be able to help people, whoever they are. In this time of the pandemic, many people lost loved ones and others were left with financial difficulties. A little help is always welcome in such a difficult time,” Alessandro told us when asked if they help homeless people often.
They told João they would give him a complete makeover
They shaved and cut his hair, trimmed his beard, and washed João up
“It took two hours to complete the transformation. The whole team volunteered and everyone did a little, adding up to a surprising result.” After they gave him the makeover, Alessandro said João had the sweetest reaction. He was genuinely surprised and really grateful. He didn’t say much, but the tears were enough. We were surprised to see that he was also beautiful on the outside, not only in.
By the time the barbers were done, João looked completely different
We asked if he knew why João left his home, and Alessandro said that he didn’t want to ask: “I didn’t want to get into the question of why he left home. He must have his reasons, but our intention was just to give him a little dignity at that moment.”
Soon after the photos of the transformation were shared, João got an even bigger surprise
His family found him thanks to his photos going viral and the barbershop organized a meeting
The person who recognized him and came to meet him was his sister: “His sister Maria Coelho came in a hurry when she saw the pictures. She lives in Brasília DF and has been waiting for 10 years to hear some news about him. She even thought he was dead.”
João was very happy to be reunited with his family and starting his new life
His family shared some photos of João when he was younger
We asked Alessandro what João is doing now: “João is still on the streets. His sister wanted to welcome him and take him home, but he didn’t want to. He said that on the streets, he feels free. That’s why he didn’t want to go home.”
Let’s hope that this transformation will mark the start of a better time for João