Sandy Martin introduced Marty Baker, who has her own salon, who started a nonprofit in 2016 called Care Cuts to give haircuts and clothing, food, etc. to the homeless.
Marty noticed that a lot of the homeless were never moving out of their situation. They do housing, rehab, detox, mental health help, have nurses and doctors volunteering to help the homeless move forward quickly. They are a ministry, not a business.
Care Cuts is growing. They want more than anything to help the homeless stop being homeless. She brought a video that told the story of Care Cuts. It noted that many of the homeless wound up where they are due to addiction, but primarily through mental illness. They want to help them find jobs and simpler things like getting an ID card. It gives them confidence that they can pull themselves out of their situation.
Myers Morton, an attorney, is on the board of Care Cuts. Myers said it is like ground zero for people who are in despair and sorrow. He is amazed at the transformation they go through after their experience with Care Cuts. 60-70% of the volunteers are people who came through there and survived. Myers is oppressed by how hard it has been for so many of these people. He said they have made a difference in his life as much as those they help.
Marty said it is important to earn the trust of the people she serves. She introduced David Akers, who was raised in South Knoxville. He lived with Marty and her husband for a while. He is a recovering alcohol and drug addict. He spent many years on the streets. He became an alcoholic. He drank because he had to have it. Drank 3 or 4 fifths a day. He suffered delirium tremens. He has 20 months sober at this time. He credits Care Cuts with helping him defeat that demon. He is a residential manager at some apartments now. He sang a song he wrote, called Today’s Rainbow.
David is a testimony to what love and care can do. Care Cuts is at 519 Williams Street. She opened the floor to questions. Marty got her start with Lost Sheep Ministries, Maxine Raines (of blessed memory) non-profit that fed people in the homeless camps. Open Tuesdays and Wednesdays 9-2 and on Saturday from 9-1 to accept donations. They try to give people a sense of self worth. On October 11, one-stop shop resource day. Cherokee Health Bus, Food Stamp people, Tennessee Drivers’ License, and others.