Local organization offering haircuts and hot dogs to homeless

HARLINGEN — Homeless and hungry?

Something as simple as a free haircut can make all the difference in the world. And if you can get something to eat, that’s even better, as only the starving can know.

That’s why PFLAG Harlingen is holding Haircuts and Hot dogs for the Homeless on Saturday. The event will be held at Gutierrez Park, 500 W. Harrison Ave. Students from the University of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences on 13th Street will start giving free haircuts at 7 p.m. Volunteers will also hand out free hot dogs.

“We’ve decided to do more in-depth volunteer work within our community,” said Cindy Candia-Luna, president of PFLAG Harlingen. PFLAG stands for “Parents, Family, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.”

In early August, PFLAG Harlingen made about 150 cupcakes for an event called “Cupcakes and Coffee for Cops” to show support for local law enforcement.

Candia-Luna said, in light of the Orlando murders in June, PFLAG feels the outreach will help the local gay, bisexual and transgender community feel safe.

“We’re telling them not to be afraid, that we love them,” Candia-Luna said.

Giving away hot dogs and haircuts is a great way to reach out to the community. Homeless people exposed to the elements especially can use the attention.

Sometime in their past they had a life, and often through circumstances beyond their control it fell completely apart.

“It’s hot out and everyone has the right to feel comfortable and even pampered in a way,” said Charlie Galvan, treasurer of PFLAG Harlingen. “We’ve decided on the hot dogs so the folks who come not only get a nice hair cut but also hot dogs and drinks.”

The cosmetology students are looking forward to the event Saturday.

“They are ecstatic about helping the community and sending positive vibes through Harlingen,” she said.

About 10 students will be giving the haircuts to homeless people to make them feel more empowered.