‘We won’t be beaten’: Barbershop Boys fight back after fire
A group of barbers, whose two-week-old business was gutted by fire, has vowed to rebuild their shop to clean up the neighbourhood frequented by drug addicts and homeless.
When five Beenleigh barbers opened Southside Dapper Barbershop at the end of July, they never expected their lifelong dream would go up in smoke within two weeks.
But their short stint in a shopping complex on Beenleigh's George St came to an end this week when a late-night fire ripped through their shop.
Neighbouring businesses and residents rallied to raise money to reopen the shop, on the street, where syringes are found on footpaths on a regular basis and homeless people often sleep in a nearby dimly-lit carpark.
Super Vape Store owner Chetan Narsey said the boys had brought extra custom to the complex and a lively vibe.
Neighbouring business printing outlet Magnascan along with an anime and pop culture store called Let's Go Akamaru! also backed the boys' return.
In less than 24 hours, more than $4000 was donated with a top goal of $20,000, to help the boys buy new leather chairs, hair products, and fit-out the next shop.
Joint owner Vilisi Saqasaqa said Beenleigh needed the barbers, who had started to engage with street youths and had made inroads in "cleaning up" the street.
"We need to be here for these kids who are on drugs," Mr Saqasaqa said.
"They need to grow up seeing role models like us and believe they can get jobs or sell their music or label or open up a shop.
"We were a pillar of light in this community and when the guys came in to work each morning and saw the syringes it affected them.
"But we made a difference because we cut hair at a discount for those who couldn't afford it and gave them something to look forward to."
In July, police were called to George St after a ram raid on a jewellery store and charged a 32-year-old Beenleigh man.
CCTV footage showed a man driving a stolen black Hyundai Accent through the front window of the George St store.
He man was arrested and charged after police spotted him walking along George St.
Police said they found items of suspected stolen jewellery, methylamphetamine and suboxone, and a knife.
He was also charged with offences related to breaking into cars in a carpark on George St and smashing the rear passenger window of a Toyota Corolla and stealing hand sanitiser, gloves and children's toys.
Nearby sports clubs have been forced to increase security, introduce dark lights and scour playing fields for discarded syringes after addicts were seen shooting up at a local skate park.
A nearby drug and alcohol clinic has also raised concerns with some traders claiming it was attracting drug addicts from outside Beenleigh into the shopping precinct.
Insurance assessments were still being conducted at the George St complex but it is still unknown whether the Southside Dapper Barbershop will be able to move back in this year.
In the meantime, the boys are operating out of home in Beenleigh with $10 haircuts to those who need them but also trying to make headway getting their business back on track.
Originally published as 'We won't be beaten': Barbershop Boys fight back a