People helping people.
CareCuts is the brainchild of Martha “Marti” LaRue Baker, owner of Salon LaRue. A Knoxville native, Marti has been a barber, stylist, and instructor for over 30 years. After joining Maxine Raines and the Lost Sheep Ministry, Marti’s dream to help those in need continued to grow, so she set out to help restore people’s dignity by cutting their hair and providing grooming services. From this dream, CareCuts was born and began serving the homeless community in April of 2016.
In the beginning, Marti secured volunteers from among her clientele and church family. When considering a location, her first call was to the school she attended to become a licensed barber in the Happy Holler area of Knoxville. Though the facility was more than a mile away from the area the homeless congregated, they still came in wheelchairs, on canes, and carrying their children. Unfortunately, this long-existing school closed its doors only four months into hosting CareCuts’ monthly mission event.
The day the volunteers were told that CareCuts itself was now homeless, volunteer stylist Michael Layne of Belleza Salon reached out to his friend and fellow stylist Jeremy Wann. Jeremy, owner of GEO Hair Lab, met with Marti and a few other volunteers to discuss CareCuts before graciously offering to host the monthly event in his stunning, modern salon. It’s clear that God had a plan for CareCuts all along because, thanks to Jeremy and the volunteers, the ministry never missed a beat. The new location is only half a block away from the local Salvation Army, KARM, and Volunteer Ministries – critical resources for the homeless. GEO Hair Lab has hosted CareCuts on the first Sunday of every month since August of 2016.
Since its launch CareCuts has grown leaps and bounds and we’ve added many new services in addition to just grooming needs including: Angelic Ministries, Ladies of Charity, SSI Disability, Lions Club, Veterans of Knoxville, and more! CareCuts is growing and we are looking forward to see how far it can go.