Date
16 December 2017
Starting next month, homeless people will be offered showers, shaves and haircuts under a colonnade of St. Peter's Square, where crowds joined Pope Francis in prayer on Sunday. Photo: AFP
Starting next month, homeless people will be offered showers, shaves and haircuts under a colonnade of St. Peter's Square, where crowds joined Pope Francis in prayer on Sunday. Photo: AFP

Shave and a haircut, courtesy of the pope

Homeless people in Rome will be offered not just showers but also haircuts and shaves when a new facility opens in in St. Peter’s Square next month, Reuters reported, citing the head of the pope’s charity office.

The Vatican announced last year it would provide shower facilities for homeless people.

Bishop Konrad Krajewski told the Italian Catholic newspaper Avvenire on Thursday it would also offer haircuts and shaves when the services start Feb. 16 in an area under the colonnade of the square.

Krajewski, the pope’s almoner, said barbers and hairdressers would volunteer their services on Mondays, the day their shops are traditionally closed in Italy.

They have already donated chairs, hair-cutting instruments and mirrors, the newspaper’s website said.

Krajewski came up with the idea of building showers in St. Peter’s Square last year after a homeless person told him that while it was relatively easy to find places to eat at Rome charities, it was difficult to find places to wash.

Pope Francis immediately gave his backing for the shower project. Krajewski then expanded it to include haircuts and shaves.

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