Local barber’s random act of kindness changes man’s life

Local barber’s random act of kindness changes man’s life
Local barber’s random act of kindness changes man’s life (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A simple act of kindness helped change the life of a man who had been homeless.

Caitlyn Williams has been cutting hair for about eight years, but it was a chance meeting on her way to work about two years ago that would prove to be life-changing.

“I was on my way to work one day and I was at the corner of Poplar and Yates and I saw Dale standing at the corner of the road," said Williams.

Two to three days a week, Dale Stowell would stand at that corner asking for money.

“It felt demeaning. I was doing it out of necessity. I didn't want to do it, but I didn't have much of a choice,” said Stowell.

Williams was on her way to work, at 1776 Men’s Grooming Parlor, when she noticed Stowell.

“And so I rolled down my window and I said, ‘I don’t have anything on me that I can give you right now, but I work right down the street and if you come down here, I promise I’ll take care of you,’” said Williams.

Williams said Stowell accepted her offer up, and she has been cutting Stowell’s hair for free ever since.

“God gave me what I needed when I need it. He put her in my life for a reason,” said Stowell.

Stowell’s story is like countless of other people’s stories where a string of bad luck led him to being homeless.

For Stowell, it started when his wife of nearly 20 years died of stage 4 throat cancer in 2014. Three months later he suffered a severe head injury on the job, causing debilitating migraines. He fell behind on his late wife’s medical bills. Two years later, he lost his house.

“And I feel like the problem that we have with the homeless community in this area is people don’t want to make eye contact,” said Williams.

You may be wondering how a haircut could truly change Dale Stowell’s life.

“It gives you more self-confidence. It makes you feel a lot better. It makes you feel more human,” said Stowell.

It also gave him hope that things would get better, and it did.

In February of this year, he began receiving disability checks for that incident on the job three years ago. He now has an apartment and a car.

“It's just a very cool thing to be a part of his story,” said Williams.

Williams says the two have created a genuine friendship over the years.

“If I had had children of my own, if I had a daughter, I would want her to be just like Caitlyn. I love her to death,” said Williams.

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