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.
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.”