Street Shaves began as a small initiative, but its impact has grown quickly in the heart of Redlands, CA. near our Eastside Christian Church Redlands Campus. Street Shaves is a faith-based nonprofit organization started by Joshua Masih. He and a team of about seven to eight people meet and serve consistently about two to three times a month.
When Joshua first started Street Shaves, he could never have imagined how much it would mean to the community. The support and appreciation they have received from those they have helped have been overwhelming. As Jesus modeled in John 13:14, “Just as I, your Lord, and your teacher have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet.” So following this model of how Jesus served others with love and humility, the mission of Street Shaves is to serve those in need, one haircut at a time. The goal is to share God’s love practically and compassionately with those who are struggling, demonstrating that small acts of kindness can bring about significant change in people’s lives.
Recently, Street Shaves set up their hair-cutting services outside The Family Service Association of Redlands (FSA). Eastside Christian Church provided over $2,500 in gift cards to FSA as they help families in Redlands, Since 1898, FSA has been dedicated to providing a safety net for vulnerable individuals and families. Their focus is on helping with basic needs such as food, housing, and clothing for the homeless, at-risk homeless, and low-income residents of the East Valley and guiding families towards self-sufficiency.
FSA provides a variety of resources to the community of Redlands. Once a week they provide a supply of emergency food they collect from donations from their partners with Feeding America, Vons, Ranch Market, and private donors. Once a month they have a drive-through food box distribution. This provides community members with food pantry basics to help combat hunger and food insecurity. In partnership with Arrowhead Medical Center, this service provides basic medical health care to the community. The 40-foot clinic on wheels features two fully functional private exam rooms and a health consultation and education area and is staffed by medical resident physicians.
Eastside doesn’t develop solutions in silos. The most meaningful impact comes from taking a humble posture to listen and learn from experts in our communities. With their knowledge and expertise, we are able to find our unique role in creating sustainable solutions. This also uniquely equips us to advocate on behalf of those in need and to inspire other groups and churches to join our efforts. We value partners who embrace collaboration, along with holistic and creative problem-solving. When we don’t take the time to first understand the issues from the partner or even the individual’s point-of-view, we risk misallocating resources and energy into something that isn’t a solution and in fact, may perpetuate the very issue we set out to resolve. This is why learning about gaps in existing systems from reputable partners is important. Responsible stewardship of Eastsider’s generosity involves identifying opportunities to work directly with partners in our community to maximize our impact.
Through our partnership with Street Shaves and Redlands Family Services we are working towards not only transforming lives but also inspiring others to join the cause. By advocating on behalf of the less fortunate, our goal is to encourage other groups and churches to get involved in their local community. The power of collective effort cannot be underestimated, and when like-minded organizations come together, the impact can be profound and far-reaching.
If you were inspired by this story, we would love to tell you more about Eastside. We have a relentless love and commitment for all to know God. We are committed to finding unique ways to serve in our local communities and help our global neighbors. If you want to learn more about ways to make a difference in your community and around the globe, visit eastside.com/compassion.
We volunteer in local and global communities, and we also meet together every weekend if you would like to join us in person or online. We believe that this is a place for everyone, wherever you are on your journey. If you would like to find out more about Eastside, please visit eastside.com.