世界中どこだって、ホームレスの置かれた環境は厳しいもの。頑張って生活を安定させようとしても、住むところがなかったり小ざっぱりした格好をしていないと、新たな仕事に付くことは難しい。けれどもホームレスの人々には、身なりを整えるだけの余裕がない……。

しかし今、そんなホームレスの散髪を請負い、リフレッシュさせる “路上髪切り職人” さんに注目が集まっている。数年前まで自分もコカイン中毒に苦しみ、厳しい日々を送ってきたお兄さんが、“恩返し” としてホームレスの髪を切っているのだ!

・ホームレスの人々の髪を切る男性

豪メルボルンで理容師として働く、ナスィール・ソバハニさん(26)。お仕事がお休みの月曜日、彼はスケボーと散髪道具を携えて街に繰り出しては、ある活動を行っている。それが、ホームレスの人々の髪を無料で切る『Clean Cut Clean Start』。老若男女だれでも彼の手にかかれば、スッキリ! 散髪し立ての気持ちい~い髪型に早変わりするのだ。うんうん、髪の毛を切るのって誰でも気持ちがいいことだよね!

・ヘロインを克服した男性の髪を切ったのがキッカケ

彼が『Clean Cut Clean Start』のアイディアを得たのは、3年前に理容師の見習いだった頃のこと。「1カ月間ヘロイン抜きで過ごせたお祝いに、髪の毛を切りたい」と言う男性の散髪を請負ったことがキッカケだ。髪を切った男性の変わりっぷりは、まさに “変身だった” とソバハニさんは振り返る。男性の母親は、髪を切った息子の姿を見て思わず涙した。

「あれは僕の人生に残る、素晴らしい思い出です。僕がやったことで男性を勇気づけることができたのなら、他の人にもやり続けたいと思ったんです。髪の毛を切ると、自然と自信がわいてきますよね」とソバハニさんは語る。

・“恩返し” として活動を続けている

自身も20代前半までヘロイン中毒に苦しんだソバハニさんは、「生活も安定し、健康になれたことへの恩返し」として、そして絶望にある人々に少しでも自信を持ってもらいたいという願いを込めて、ホームレスの髪を切り続けると話す。

「自分のことが心底嫌いで、鏡を見ても涙しか出なかった日々を僕も過ごしてきました。だから路上に暮らす人々の気持ちがとてもよく分かる。彼らの多くは自分自身を恥じています」

「自分自身を “価値のある人間” だと感じること、そして他者との対等な交流が、ホームレスの人々にとって救いとなるはずです」

ちなみにソバハニさんが散髪したホームレスのビフォーアフター写真は、彼の Instagram に掲載されており、多くの人の注目を集めているようだ。

散髪を施してホームレスの人々に希望を持ってもらうことが、ソバハニさんの “恩返し” のやり方。きっと人の数だけ、 “恩返し” の流儀が存在しているはずだ。私の、そしてあなたの “恩返し” は一体どのような形をしているのだろうか?

参照元:Facebook、Instagram @thestreetsbarberMetroHerald Sun(英語)
執筆:小千谷サチ

▼それではソバハニさんの手で “変身” した人々をご覧あれ! 写真と共に1人1人の背景についても語られている。

This is Chris. He was 21 years old when I met him and his birthday was the following day. He has no family which he can contact or be with – he has basically been entirely alone for the past 11 years. He has been on the streets and homeless since he was 10. Yeah, I know, insane but a sad reality. I asked him how that's possible and his reason gave me chills. "I hated having to constantly wear extra layers and warm clothing at school when it was hot" he said quietly. I asked him what he meant by that and he said that it was to cover up the bruises from getting hit by his dads. "Dads?!" I said, and he replied "Ya, both by my real dad and also my step-dad". He elaborated and told me that he was mostly with his mom and step-dad – who was very abusive and beat him. Then his mom sent him to live with his 'real dad' and the abuse kept coming. There was no escape and he had more than he could take, so he took sanctuary to the streets. At the age of 11 he found himself smoking ice and eventually got into heroin too. When I met him he was very timid and shy and so the few people I was with had left, allowing for a more intimate session which allowed him to open up and be more comfortable. However, I think it's best that I keep what he said between us for some things are just better to stay at the shop – which are the streets to me. He had been wearing a beanie for ages which made his hair on the WHOLE back of his head into one deadlock. I had to cut away using scissors slowly and carefully. I couldn't give him any style due to the fact that his hair was so dead. We shaved his head, then his face. It was difficult to shave his neck (under his chin) due to the open sores he had from the meth use but he insisted he wanted to clean up – so I did the best I could. We finished off with a thorough dry shampoo and aftershave treatment. He looked at the mirror and was the happiest I had seen him since I had met him – which warmed my heart. He never got the chance to properly experience a childhood, let alone his youth. Hopefully in his 22nd year and beyond he'll be able to start experiencing more positivity, love and happiness in his life. Happy birthday Chris

A post shared by Nasir Sobhani (@thestreetsbarber) on

This is Janko. He's in his 40s and has no partner or children. When he approached me cutting another client he was very drunk and asked if I could give him a cut when I was finished. I told him of course and that I'd be finished soon. He waited his turn patiently and when it was time for him he sat down and told me he wanted a number 2 all over – which he later admitted was because he didn't know when his next cut would be. I asked him about his life story and he told me that he was homeless because his old landlord kicked him out of his place and ever since then he hasn't found a place. I told him my story and my addiction issues in the past and how I derive my happiness and joy these days from serving others, and that in a sense cutting hair is how I 'get high'. At this point Janko begins laughing at me, telling me "man you're a tripper" and then points to his bottle and says "this is how I get high" as he kept laughing. We began speaking about why he drinks besides the fact that he claimed he loves the stuff and is drunk from sunrise to sundown, and then he told me something very interesting. He said 'Im alone and have no one to listen to or tell me what to do – and because of that I always get my way'. Because of that, he said, if he wanted to drink he would drink. I listened to him, then asked him if he liked being alone. He said no. I asked if he maybe drinks as much as he does because he was alone and had no one and he said.."yeah, that's a possibility". After this, Janko was silent and didn't speak for a while then decided to tell me that he was proud of me. He envied the fact that I was able to use natural means to find true happiness. It was so heart-warming when he said that and it gave me newfound inspiration to continue doing what I'm doing. It amazed me that within a few moments I went from being ridiculed to being the recipient of kind words. I hope he finds someone to help him get the confidence to also find natural means for happiness. #cleancutcleanstart #thestreetsbarber

A post shared by Nasir Sobhani (@thestreetsbarber) on

This is Shane. He's a 29 year old father of one. The thing is, I've met Shane before and I have given him a cut (his story is one of my first during my #cleancutcleanstart project – you can find his story in my earlier pictures). Now we get to have an update to his story! Unfortunately he was still living with his wife (Beck) on the streets. However, he had decided to quit using heroin and tried getting back onto his feet again. I asked him what it was that made him want to sober up and he told me it was for two reasons. Firstly, because his daughter (who lives with Beck's sister) took her first steps; secondly, (I don't want to glorify myself) he said: "you know how you told us your story, about how you struggled with your own drug addiction and have now since gone clean and using barbering as as a new type of positive addiction?" He said that this inspired him to get serious about making a positive change in his life. I was overwhelmed by that comment and extremely humbled – and it made me so happy to hear he was trying to make a positive change! So for his hair, he wanted it short in the back and sides with a little bit of a spiky/messy look on top. For his beard, he wanted to grow a fat goatee so I took off the rest of his facial hair and shaped his goatee. After a dry shampoo treatment, aftershave, and a style I asked him to pose for an 'after' shot, so he could see what he looks like. I want this to be known for the record: I don't ask anyone to 'look miserable' in the 'before' photo and 'happy' in the 'after'. It's honestly a natural process every time and their own decision to pose however they want. All I do is count down from 3. #cleancutcleanstart #thestreetsbarber

A post shared by Nasir Sobhani (@thestreetsbarber) on

This is Kevin. He's 48 years old and has been on the streets for a while now. The only time he's got a roof over his head is when he's in prison. In his 48 years he's been in and out of jail roughly 20 times – always for armed robbery and theft, in order to support his drug habit. You'd think he would have learnt his lesson but drugs like heroin have a grip on your life that is very difficult for those who may not suffer for addiction to fully understand: it's often irrational and not in your control. Kevin has unfortunately contracted Hepatitis C during his years using heroin and sharing needles – his liver was failing slowly, you could tell with the condition of his hair and skin. At one point I left to grab some stuff to help cut with and when I came back Kevin was right there waiting patiently guarding all my tools and equipment – I'm sure some people would have thought that due to his past he would have stolen from me – but I had faith in him and gave him the benefit of the doubt. He was a genuinely good person – you could tell in his heart – it's just that heroin masked it. He asked for a number 4 all around because it's easy and simple – "it gets the job done". But I insisted I do a bit more. So I gave him a 4 on top with a number 2 taper on the side, lined him up, trimmed his eyebrows, gave him a dry shampoo treatment, shaved his face and dabbed some fresh aftershave on his face and neck. Afterward he felt so fresh and wanted to know where I worked so when he got some cash he could drop it off to pay for this haircut. I told him I wouldn't accept it but he persisted. I asked him how much he felt this was worth. He told me "I don't know, 10-20 dollars?" Then I told him to make me a promise that when he gets his next 10-20 dollars that he puts it to something other than heroin. He looked at me and said "Nas, I promise you that". I trust him. #cleancutcleanstart #thestreetsbarber

A post shared by Nasir Sobhani (@thestreetsbarber) on

This is Simon. 46 years old. Simon has no wife nor kids. He used morphine for the majority of his life and as of a few years ago he took his drug use to another level – began using heroin. This changed his whole life around and said he has "nothing as a result". When I asked him what he wanted me to do with his hair he said he didn't care and that he wasn't growing his hair long on purpose but it was due to the fact that he had no money for a cut. He also told me that he was going to detox/rehab tomorrow to help kick his heroin addiction. When he told me this I told him we need to make him look fresh for this new beginning! After the cut and dry shampoo treatment he felt like a new man and said "maybe I'll finally get a lady!". I hope rehab is a success Simon. Bless #cleancutcleanstart #juniorlion

A post shared by Nasir Sobhani (@thestreetsbarber) on

Face shave and dry shampoo treatment #cleancutcleanstart #juniorlion

A post shared by Nasir Sobhani (@thestreetsbarber) on

This is Rachel. She is 28 years old and has one son. I was roaming the streets with my kit and Rachel walked by and said "hey, you're the guy that gives free haircuts to us street folk!" I said hi, and asked if she was keen to get a free cut, which she was. This made me particularly happy because that day I had my friend Saba (@monzaviyan) offering to do makeup for my female clients if they wanted it. Anyway, we started talking, and Rachel told me she had been on the streets since she was 13 years old. She didn't go into too much detail but told me that she really had a rough upbringing and that's why she ran away and got adopted by the streets. She told me she had been using heroin on and off for 15 years. My heart sank, knowing she was only 28. She explained that she started using in order to try and mask the trauma from her childhood. As a 13 year old, however, she didn't know how to use heroin so acquaintances on the street would shoot it into her veins for her. I was so shocked and saddened when I heard that – I couldn't say anything for a bit and cut her hair in silence. She continued to tell me that after a while she had to learn to do it herself. 15 years later she works as a street worker almost everyday. Her son, Xavier, is only one years old and the "joy of my life" she told me. She's hoping to leave Footscray and move to a less drug infested suburb for them to live in. She had dreams for the future but was a slave to the streets and drugs in the meantime. In terms of the cut, she told me that she hadn't had a proper haircut since she was 13. She asked me to go short on the sides, blending it up to the top, keeping the top longer and messy – bit of a pixie cut. I also gave her a dry shampoo, only to finish off with Saba applying her makeup which she was very eager to have done. When she saw what she looked like she couldn't believe it was her. Heck none of us could. I really wish Rachel and her son Xavier get a chance for a clean start. We all deserve a second chance, but Rachel never really got her first one. #cleancutcleanstart #thestreetsbarber #thestreetsbarberproject

A post shared by Nasir Sobhani (@thestreetsbarber) on