Haircut-For-Hugs Barber Asked To Stop Giving Free Cuts To Homeless

| by Jonathan Wolfe
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For 25 years, Anthony Cymerys has headed down to Hartford’s Bushnell Park to offer haircuts to the homeless. His price was always the same – a haircut for a hug.

Cymerys, 82, started this weekly routine after being inspired by a church sermon about caring for the homeless. Cymerys uses a car battery to power his clippers and is affectionately called “Joe the Barber.”

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But local Hartford legislators don’t seem to appreciate Anthony’s service as much as his clients do. Citing safety concerns, the city government has asked Cymerys to – at least in the meantime – stop his hugs-for-haircuts program.

City health officials don’t want Cymerys gone forever, though. They’re currently figuring out how they can let Cymerys keep doing what he does in a more controlled environment.  Surely, Cymerys and his clients hope the situation is resolved sooner rather than later.

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The famous park barber, who retired from a career in business, loves and believes in what he does.

"It really is love. I love these guys. You know I love you, right?” Cymerys recently said to a client while cutting his hair.

"That's what it's all about," he added. 

Update: He's been granted a reprieve.

Sources: ABC, Huffington Post, MyFox