Using connections within Spokane and assistance from the community, The Morning After Grooming Co., a barbershop in Spokane, seeks to help the less fortunate with its nonprofit People Over Profit that goes by the motto, “Let our answer never be no.”
Dallas Hoy, founder and owner of the shop, said that the nonprofit helps both men and women, with more focus on men due to resources for struggling men in Spokane being fewer than for women. The shop tries to help those experiencing homelessness, addiction, anger management, mental health and struggles in finding work and other problems.
The idea for the nonprofit came to Hoy’s heart during her time working at the shop and was something that she had worked on over the past couple of years. But it wasn’t until the COVID-19 shutdown that she felt God told her to move forward and file paperwork to make it official.
“The world is changing to the point with COVID and all of that where we have to learn how to be the Church and how to love people the way Jesus loves people, and he’s creating new ways for us all to do that and so the best thing we can do is be obedient and love his people as much as possible,” said Jocelyn DeWitt, spiritual recovery coach at the nonprofit.
Instead of only giving a person a haircut and sending them out the door, Hoy explained they want to take the next steps with people by providing them with resources to help them recover, re-enter life and grow beyond the shop’s walls.
Whether it’s hygiene products, food, clothes, getting connections to services or other resources, the nonprofit seeks to assist struggling men and women with their needs. Hoy said the basement has been used to store supplies and clothes for those who need them.
“We [Hoy and barbers at the shop] all have this interwoven web of connections because of our own personal stories and we’re at a point where we’re willing to put our neck to try to get somebody else connected,” Hoy said. “So it’s just a matter of who’s in our chair, what do they need and then how can we be an answer for that.”
Hoy described how she has heard of situations involving single fathers and yet most services are set up for single mothers. She added that they could not find programs in Spokane on a consistent basis that helped struggling men, leading to the shop deciding to provide that kind of service.
Even though the nonprofit helps everyone, DeWitt said it’s important to have a service that assists men because there are more opportunities for women and children as opposed to men and they want to add a helping hand in their recovery and make them into the men God created them to be.
One program of the nonprofit is the wooden nickel, which a client gets to give to an individual they see in public they see needing help. The nickel has the company’s logo on one side with the address on the other saying, “Your Life Matters To Us!” A client at the shop purchases the nickel for $25, which provides a service for the individual it is given to.
“You as the guest, instead of going ‘I’m going to pay it forward and want to purchase a service for someone,’ I put the responsibility on you because I don’t want what we’re doing to stay [at the shop], I want it to move out and I want you also to follow through with feeling touched by what’s happening here,” Hoy said. “You take the coin, you take a business card and you carry that around in your pocket with you.”
She added that when the person is walking around downtown and sees someone who looks like they need some help, instead of giving them money they’re given the nickel and told to go to the shop where, after the service, they are asked how the shop can help them in their situation.
Instead of adhering to a society that tells a man who is hurting to man-up, pull their boot straps up and work hard, Hoy said the shop aims to be a place that cares and nurtures men. First by teaching them about hair care, and telling them that they are worthy of that education and crack the door open to further help them.
“If we do our part and just crack that door open enough, the opportunities there are endless. So we just want to be the place to just crack the door open and see what Jesus is gonna do,” Hoy said.
Hoy has seen a lot of growth in the men they serve by them recognizing other men being emotionally gentle with them.
“Everyone is welcome here. All people, all races, all backgrounds, and all stories,” Hoy said.
The nonprofit has yet to receive federal recognition.
Matthew Kincanon is a former Digital Content Producer with a journalism and political science degree from Gonzaga University. His journalism experience includes the Gonzaga Bulletin, The Spokesman-Review, Art Chowder magazine and SpokaneFāVS. He said he is excited to be a freelancer at SpokaneFāVS because, as a Spokane native, he wants to learn more about the various religious communities and cultures in his hometown.