Homeless man who lost his family to be treated to day of luxury from Calgary businesses
They are acts of kindness that require nothing in return: a handful of Calgary businesses wanted to give a homeless man an experience many take for granted.
The idea was inspired by the owner of a startup company that creates a line of shaving products for men. Tim Gutwald of Midnight & Two says although he doesn’t have a lot of money, he wanted to be socially conscious. So he started with doing just one thing for one person.
“I have luxury products geared towards higher-income people and I wanted to do a stark contrast to that and provide luxury to someone who hasn’t had it in potentially years,” Gutwald said.
“We can’t imagine the life these people have and this is a way to say, ‘here’s a few hours to feel pampered and special.’”
He recruited Johnny’s Barber + Shop to give the homeless man a hot shave and a haircut. Barber Stephen Stewart says he didn’t hesitate to help.
“I just want to make someone feel better about himself and the self respect is so important,” Stewart said. “There's so many things in life going against you and one of them shouldn't be yourself.”
After his indulgent hour of grooming – the homeless man will dine on a gourmet meal at Laurier Lounge Saturday. Owner Martin Maheux hopes this experience will restore his dignity and self-worth.
“Let’s hope the experience will give him hope.”
The businessmen approached the Calgary Drop-In Centre to select a deserving recipient. They chose Wayne.
“I wasn’t looking for sympathy, I wasn’t looking for handouts. Lord knows I gave myself enough self sympathy…I never expected this.”
Wayne has called the drop-in centre home for nearly five years. He fell into a depression after he lost his wife and two sons all within the same year. He’s humble, grateful and anxious to spend this upcoming Saturday being spoiled.
“I appreciate it. Do I deserve it? No. I’m nobody special,” Wayne laughed. “I’m just Wayne.”
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