J.C. Pearson II has been living on the streets for most of his life. Though for a time it seemed like he was doing all right – he became a hairdresser when he was 17 years old and even owned his own salon – it was hard to stay off the streets.

“Nobody wants to be here,” he said, talking about being on the streets. “I don’t think anybody wants to live outside on a sidewalk… You go back to what’s familiar and what you know. If the streets are all you know and the people that are on it, yeah, you keep going back to it.”

He said he doesn’t think he’ll ever get on his feet again, but he uses his gifts to help the others around him. “If you cannot help yourself,” he said, “help to save the world.”

J.C. knows that even little things like having your hair done can help a person feel more confident and self assured. He said that when a person goes to apply for assistance, they are often made to feel “less than,” “like a bum,” so he uses his talents to help other homeless people feel beautiful and good about themselves.

“If you really feel good, it’s amazing what you can do,” he said.

Watch this poignant short film about J.C. and his work by clicking below – his attitude and outlook on life will both surprise and inspire you.

The Regulars: Sidewalks into Salons from San Francisco Chronicle on Vimeo.

Were you touched by the way this homeless man is using his gifts to help others? So share this!