Hairdressers Against Poverty: Salzburg’s Barber Angels Brotherhood

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By Wilhelm Ortmayr
The Barber Angels Brotherhood offers haircuts, beard trims and shaves to people experiencing poverty, homelessness and other forms of marginalisation in Salzburg, Austria – and demand is higher than ever.
Margrit Resch, 62, began a hairdressing apprenticeship 47 years ago. Now retired, she offers her skills for free a few hours per week at a salon near the Goethe housing project in the Itzling district of Salzburg with the Barber Angels Brotherhood. “You’ve got to like people,” she says. “It doesn’t matter who they are, where they come from or what issues they have.”

Originally an Anglo-American initiative, the Barber Angels Brotherhood came to Austria via Germany and currently has 61 members, who work closely with relevant social initiatives, associations and institutions.

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