Kansas City groups offer COVID-19 vaccines, haircuts to homeless at Bartle Hall

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — At least 200 people experiencing homelessness were able to get a COVID-19 vaccine Monday. Many also got free haircuts as volunteers hoped to inspire some confidence.

Heart to Heart International provided the vaccine doses and medical professionals to administer the shots. Brother with Razors Charity Group and The Know Joey Foundation provided the haircuts.  

Barbers like Aundry Abson were invited by Divine Konnections to help service the unhoused population at Bartle Hall. 

“I’ve been where they are. God delivered me from that,” Abson said. “I just always knew, giving a haircut, it might be simple, but to change a man’s image is always a great thing.” 

Lisa Yeager with Divine Konnections helps offer wraparound services at Bartle Hall free of charge for people who need it. 

“Everybody wants to be able to keep their morale up when you’re going through trials and tribulations,” Yeager said. 

Along with fresh haircuts, 200 people at Bartle Hall also got Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. This single dose version is recommended for the homeless population. Dan Neal, vice president of operations at Heart to Heart, said medical professionals and volunteers administered the 200 shots and answered questions. 

“If there are folks who are hesitant about it, hopefully we can overcome that through the education that we’re going to be doing and that they’ll go ahead and get vaccinated,” Neal said. 

With a focus on wellness, organizers hope to help encourage and empower people. 

“It puts a level of confidence in them. You know, maybe they just strike that motivation to actually change the steps they’re taking in their lives,” Abson said. 

Brothers with Razors is always looking for volunteers to cut and style hair for the less fortunate. Hope Faith will be administering vaccines to the houseless population three times a week. 

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