Barbershop offers free haircuts as violence intervention strategy

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As violent crime rises in Minneapolis, community activists are getting creative to keep guns out of reach for young people.

Faded Barbershop located in Uptown sends a clear message to the community to stop the violence in Minneapolis.

They hope to make a difference one haircut at a time.

“Trying to do something good for the community to let them know there’s good that can happen in our town,” said Edward Davis, owner of Faded Barbershop.

If you sit in Davis’ chair at the Faded Barbershop, you get a package deal: a haircut and a chat.

“How important is school, how important is it to get into college, how important is it to learn a trade – I talk to them [youth] about it when they come here. It’s really important,” Davis said.

Her goal was to point kids in the right direction so they could look better, feel better, and do better.

“It feels good that someone is taking a positive approach and trying to take a look at gun violence and do something about it, so that’s huge,” said grandparent Craig Williams .

One of the efforts is the first annual “Guns Down, Faded Up” event offering free haircuts to young people while encouraging them to stand up against violence in Minneapolis.

“I come from downtown. I saw it. I just think it’s a horrible thing going on in the city with our kids,” Davis said.

Walter Thomas, 18, said Davis was one of his mentors who pointed him in the right direction.

“I think we can make a lot of changes. I lost a few buddies to gun violence,” Thomas said. “Not everyone has a roof over their head. I can say that I did it because the hair salon is my roof over my head. I had people watching over me, protecting me and showing me the right or wrong paths.

Davis said young people deserved more than just a haircut, but a chance for a future.

“It was time to do something positive for the community and for the children. I just try to be that light,” Davis said.

“It’s a cycle. I appreciate that Cole and Ed broke that cycle with me because I can see that I want to make some changes now too,” Thomas said.

The hair salon wants to make it an annual event.

Faded Barbershop is also planning a back-to-school campaign with free haircuts to help young people in the community.


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