Media Release: Free haircuts transforming lives and creating long-term change

A re-elected Morrison Government will provide Short Back & Sidewalks $360,000 over two years to continue delivering free services to people experiencing homelessness and expand its operations to every regional Western Australian community.

Minister for Families and Social Services, Anne Ruston, said the volunteer organisation leveraged the dignity of sitting down for a haircut to reach some of the most vulnerable members of the community.

“The Morrison Government is absolutely committed to breaking down barriers for Australians and this all starts with feeling welcomed, confident and respected,” Minister Ruston said.

“Short Back & Sidewalks has established connections with partner organisations which it refers clients to for targeted education, training and employment opportunities.”

Liberal candidate for Perth, David Dwyer, said the simple act of receiving grooming and haircuts could be a powerful connector for the wider community.

“This is an amazing local organisation that not only provides an important service but delivers wrap-around support and referrals to provide long-term help and solutions,” Mr Dwyer said.

“I am delighted that a re-elected Morrison Government would support Short Back & Sidewalks to continue serving our community.”

Craig Hollywood, Founder and CEO of Short Back & Sidewalks, said the Morrison Government’s support would allow the service to expand.

“With this funding commitment we are aiming to provide 30,000 free haircuts and positive community connections per year by 2025,” Mr Hollywood said.

Michael Brown, a long-term Short Back & Sidewalks customer, has since found permanent accommodation and employment having accessed the service for years whilst living on the street.

“I felt lucky to get a free haircut. Not many people can just come and get a cut when they want and it always made me smile and feel good about myself,” Mr Brown said.

Only the Morrison Government will continue to deliver a better future for Australians, and this is part of our plan to build a strong economy and a stronger future.

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