A lighter day aims to make the homeless feel at ease and appreciated while at the same time creating understanding for their situation.
A Lighter Day
A Lighter Day cuts at homeless shelters in Amsterdam. Barber Taylor Jardine and photographer and videomaker Steven Elbers visit different shelters twice a week to care for the men who live on the streets.
Weight off their shoulders
Taylor and Steven go to two different homeless shelters in Amsterdam twice a week. They cut people’s hair and let them talk about anything they like. It’s a place where you’re cared for and listened to. It’s a place where you’re treated as a human.
It’s to create an atmosphere where people can relax physically and mentally. They take before and after photo’s where you can see the men becoming "lighter" after a while in the barber chair and after a fresh haircut.
But more than having the people in tghe chair relax for a little while, they want to change the way many people in society view homelessness and homeless people.
“We both believe there’s a strong misconception around homelessness. and to change people’s views and ideas… it really doesn’t take that much especially in this day and age with the way that people roll with credit and things like that, a couple of bad things in a row and you just never know what’s around the corner." Taylor explains.
In order to change the way people look at the homeless, Taylor and Steven have made a documentary episode of one of the men they cut. They want to continue making documentary episodes to share the beautiful stories of the people who sit in their barber chair. This way they hope to reach people and are able to change people’s minds and ways of thinking about homelessness. Many people only see them on the street without sharing a word or a kind gesture; without taking the time to greet them as a human being. A Lighter day wants that to change.
Being a barber to the homeless also makes you think about your own fortunate position.
"It puts things reallyinto perspective, it makes you understand and be aware of what’s necessary andwhat’s not and how you interact with people and you know, not makingassumptions. based on where they might be because you never know how they might have got there."