RICHMOND, Va. -- The stories these barbershop walls could tell. Darnell Kittrell has heard so many of them. He knows the pandemic and its economic downturn have left families struggling.
The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) is now up to 1.3 million unemployment benefit claims.
Kittrell wants to be part of the solution for his clients and others.
“It is another way of giving back to the community,” Kittrell said.
His business, Dee’s Barbershop is partnering with nonprofit Project Give Back 2 Community for their “Barbershop Talk” series.
The goal is to feed the mind, body, and spirit with a focus on mental health and getting Richmonders back to work.
“What we want to do is bring some hope, resilience, and recovery with psychologists and peer recovery specialists with lived experiences who will be there,” Miss Community Clovia added.
Organizers said recruiters from Plentura Staffing Agency will be on-site to hire on the spot.
There will be full-time positions for those seeking work and those returning from incarceration.
“They have six major companies. The only thing they’re asking for is two forms of ID. One thing that is important to me is that the companies are background friendly,” Clovia added.
“Don’t be discouraged about your background or if you think you don’t fit a job. Just come out and give an effort because so many jobs are going to be hiring. We are also hiring in the barbering field. We also have a barbering school,” Kittrell explained.
“Eventually sooner or later, you may want to own your own shop. I’m here to encourage, to empower, and give intellectual encouragement,” Nasir White said.
White, who manages Dee’s Barbershop, and instructor Ricky Ward believe the event will give the community hope in these trying times.
“There are a lot of other things out there, but this is just what we offer. We just want to be a support to the community,” Ward said.
“We want to be that pillar in the community that says hey, despite what’s going on— you can come here, and here are the ways we’ll continue to help people,” Kittrell said.
The job fair and Barbershop Talk kicks off October 23 at 5:30 p.m.
Social distancing protocols will be observed, so participants must wear a mask.
Dee’s Barbershop is located at 1203 North Laburnum Ave.