A video of homeless veteran Jim Wolf undergoing an amazing physical transformation has been making the Internet rounds. Viral-video filmmaker Rob Bliss enlisted Wolf to help him with an experiment about how people view themselves, and how people view the homeless. At the start of the video, which is time-lapsed down to just under 3 minutes, we see a man with shaggy hair, a full beard, and casual clothes seated quietly in a chair. The Blaze reports,
“At first glance, Wolf looked the stereotype of the homeless veteran that he was, one who struggled with poverty and alcoholism for years. While these internal struggles can take a long time to cast off and reverse, it took only a few hours in a salon chair to change Wolf’s image and begin to turn around how the Grand Rapids, Mich., man even viewed himself.”
Wolf didn’t undergo job training, surgery, therapy, detox, or any kind of high intensity process. His transformation was simple: a shave, a professional haircut, and a dapper suit. However, after makeover, he was incredibly moved – and even motivated. He currently has plans to move into an apartment, and for the first time he is attending Alcoholics Anonymous meeting to deal with his addiction issues.
Bliss partnered with Degage, a Grand Rapids based Christian ministry which offers help and hope to struggling veterans, for this project. Marge Parlmerlee, executive director, said of this video,
“‘an outward transformation is important, but an inward one is more important,’…[Parlmerlee also] said she hopes it also helps change stereotypes to give people a perspective that ‘everyone is worthy of being treated with dignity and respect.’”
A Crosswalk trending blog from last month dealt with this same issue of our tendency to dehumanize those among us who struggle with homelessless. Check out “Thanksgiving Dinner with a Homeless Man” to see a few perspective on that. Additionally, Laura MacCorckle’s Crosswalk piece entitled, “Those Who Serve” touches on the importance of honoring our veterans and surrounding them with God’s love.
Publication date: November 11, 2013
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