WATE 6 On Your Side Heroes

Carecuts founder’s mission goes beyond haircuts

WATE 6 On Your Side Heroes

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Giving hope to the homeless by something as simple as a haircut. That’s just part of the mission of Carecuts, founded by longtime hairstylist Marti Baker.

Baker doesn’t just cut hair and hand out food. She takes time to talk to the people she’s helping, finding out their stories, literally saving lives. Now it’s our turn to find out Marti’s story.

Lines have been forming at 519 Williams St. in North Knoxville for the last 32 Sundays in a row. These are people at the lowest point of their lives who’ve come here for help and hope, thanks to Marti Baker who has a true heart for the homeless.

“Born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, from a gambler, a bootlegger on Clinton Highway, raised in a beer joint, I was. I never knew where ‘under the bridge’ was, and I was so close to being homeless so many times, yeah,” Marti told us.

Marti founded Carecuts four years ago. It started out with haircuts for people like Bear Lyles. It was the first step toward his total transformation.

“I’ve lived on the streets most of my life as an addict,” Bear said. “I’ve been clean for over two years now. If it wasn’t for Marti, I wouldn’t be where I am now.”

COVID-19 forced Carecuts to make an expanded plan of services, following CDC guidelines to meet the changing needs of the people it helps.

For more information on Carecuts, visit carecutsknox.org.


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