After months of renovation work, the barber shop pole has been turned on at the domiciliary at the Eisenhower VA Medical Center.
Local barber Darnell Woods did the honors as dozens of people gathered Monday for a ribbon cutting at Patriot’s Clips Barbershop, a one-chair shop located on the first floor of the residence hall for veterans.
The re-opening of the shop comes after months of labor as well as donations from the community.
“Darnell hit the floor running on this,” said Rev. Tony Majors, one of a group of faith-based community members who helped organize efforts to renovate the shop. “Darnell answered the call.”
The VA had plans to hire a new barber and renovate the barbershop, and got in touch with Woods, owner of First City Barbershop on Metropolitan Avenue.
But Woods told VA representatives that he could “get together with some people I know in the community who would love to donate to our nation’s veterans.”
Led by Woods’ organizing efforts, veterans, businesses and churches came together to purchase the items needed for the renovation.
Majors complimented Woods for getting community members and churches together to raise approximately $4,000 for equipment and labor costs.
Monique Phagan of the Veterans Canteen Service issued a certificate of appreciation to local community members who helped with the renovation, including Reginald Richard, David Bowman, Rev. Samuel Kyser, Rev. Daniel Freeman, Majors and Woods.
The shop is for veterans, administrators, staff and their families on the VA campus.
The barbershop will do approximately 12 haircuts each day and about 60 per week.
Mike Burton, a local Navy veteran, was the first person to receive a haircut from Woods after the ribbon cutting ceremony.