There is still a stigma around homelessness. For years, people have assumed that those that live in the street are there by choice; if only they worked harder, drank less, didn’t do drugs. The problem, however, is much more complex than superficial assumptions. The Canadian web-based research library and information center, The Homeless Hub, found that mental illness can “impair a person’s ability to be resilient and resourceful; it can cloud thinking and impair judgment. For all these reasons, people with mental illness are at greater risk of becoming homeless.” Those suffering from mental health issues tend to stay homeless longer, nonetheless, access to community services as well as supportive housing are key components in keeping those individuals off the streets.The man was unable to keep a steady job and have a place to live, consequently, he wound up living on the streets of Palma de Mallorca in Spain.
Salva Garcia, the owner of the hair salon La Salvajeria, joked with Jose Antonio about giving him a makeover for a long time. But the man, who works as an unlicensed parking lot attendant, was not interested.
Jose Antonio wanted to rent a room to live in and find full-time employment. He understood he needed to change his appearance.
“Let’s close them. It will be like something really opening up in my life,” he told Garcia. “Like a symbol, closed please.”
He says he loves himself but he cannot be happy with the life he has. “Parking cars and live like this doesn’t make anyone happy,” he says.
Although Jose Antonio, who also goes by the nickname Josete, points out he never had problems with drugs and alcohol.
“Changing things in my life I know is almost impossible, but I can make it more comfortable, more real,” says Josete, who is originally from the Spanish island of Gran Canaria.
The short film was made by movie producer Dr Filmgood. The salon wrote that “we all have a story and this one is worth mentioning.” It went to add that this was their “most personal project.”
He began to cry after seeing his hair and beard coloured dark brown, in addition to getting a cut to his long hair and beard.
Jose Antonio wondered if he was hallucinating everything. “No one is going to recognize me,” he admitted.
He gave up his baseball cap and put on dark shades. The flip flops were replaced with stylish runners.
And he was right, the locals were shocked to discover Jose Antonio looked like a completely new person. He was smiling from ear to ear, greeting everyone.
He’s had two eye surgeries as he was, “virtually blind,” was treated for sores on his feet from a lack of vitamins, and got treated for ear infections.
“I can guarantee I’ll give 110 percent whatever I end up doing.”
->**”I’m confident I’ll never go back to the way I look. I like the way I am now. I feel it’s me,” he admits.**<-