On June 16, 2020 Gary Peterson, member of the Board of Directors of the Veterans Integration Centers, presented a framed Certificate of Appreciation to Christina Whitfield, owner of Christina and Friends Barber Shop, to honor her generous gift of close to 3,000 complimentary haircuts to Albuquerque’s homeless Veterans and others in need.
Growing up in a military family, with a father who was in the Battle of Iwo Jima, and whose brothers all served, Christina gained a very deep appreciation for those who sacrifice in order to keep American and our allies safe.
Her own experience working with the military began when she was living in Portales, NM. Having trained in the art of cutting hair, she applied for a barber’s position at Canon Air Base in Clovis, working there for three years prior to relocating to Albuquerque.
She accepted a job at Kirtland AFB providing military-style haircuts to the troops, spending 12 years making our Airmen (and women) look good.
About 14 years ago Christina decided to open her own business, a small barber shop on East Central. It was there that she began noticing the many homeless who gathered in the area, some ready to try to get a job and end their homeless state.
About five years ago she began inviting them into her shop, where she provided haircuts that helped not only their morale, but their ability to get interviews for hiring.
In January 2017, she moved to new quarters, a small, very cheerful and inviting two-chair shop at 512 Juan Tabo SE, where every square inch of wall is covered with military-related signs, plaques and photos. She continues to offer military cuts, fades, traditional cuts, and “the best flat tops in town”.
She also continues to provide free haircuts to those in need, estimating that she does about 8-10 cuts a week, with an aggregate total close to 3,000 free haircuts over the past five years.
The Veterans Integration Centers honors her devotion and generosity with the presentation of the framed certificate, and we wish her many more years of success as she continues to practice compassion for others.