Austin man making a difference one clip at a time

An Austin man is making a difference one clip at a time by putting his barber skills to good use. Roger Lopez is giving homeless men free haircuts and a new beginning.

Sunday (4/29) marked the one year anniversary of Haircuts for Homeless a volunteer run organization aimed at helping people in need.

With a quick clip and a shave Lopez and his team of volunteers are making a difference.

“I want to help someone the way that I wish someone would help me. I want to be a helping hand I want to contribute to the solution,” said Lopez.

Once a month Lopez, a Texas state licensed barber, gets to work, giving dozens of homeless men who attend church under the I-35 underpass a free haircut and shave.

Many of them looking for a fresh start and to make a good impression.

Recently released from prison, David Calderon has been living on the streets for seven months. He said he’s working to change his life.

“Today I woke up and I said you know I can get my hair cut today, I can get my hair done today. I start doing interviews next month so I feel real good about it.  I’m glad they’re here,” said Calderon. “I feel blessed because you don’t see a lot of people doing this. The first time I found about this it was a god sent.” 

Lopez said he looks at homelessness differently than most because anyone could find themselves there one day.  He said at one time in his life he was down on his luck and living on the streets.

“I couldn’t hold down an apartment because I couldn’t hold down a job. I struggled with ten years of drug addiction and it cost me a great deal. So I do understand what some of our clients are going through and that’s what motivates me to come out here,” said Lopez. 

Lopez said friends and family helped him realize his dream and potential.  

“A friend of mine asked me what I was good at. At the time I was working a lot of low end jobs and going job to job and pay check to pay check.  I couldn’t hold down a job. And when he asked me what I like to do and I said I like to cut hair. Then he said well you should become a barber,” said Lopez.  

With some good advice and guidance Lopez did just that, within 14 months he was a Texas State Licensed Barber. 

“I had a lot of support a lot of people behind the scenes they have always supported me. They’ve always known what goals I’m trying to reach,” said Lopez. 

He’s paying it forward by cutting, clipping and shaving a difference into so many people’s lives.

“I feel lightheaded I feel really good,” said Caldron.  “It could put a spark in someone that’s been dead for years and send them off.”