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Homeless Vet Gets Makeover, Changes Life (Time-Lapse Video)

By Hanssie on November 8th 2013

Can a makeover change someone’s life? There are certainly many reality TV shows that lead us to believe that, indeed, a new nose, a nip there, a tuck there can transform someone’s life completely. And sometimes, they are right. Sometimes, changing how someone looks on the outside, can irrevocably change someone on the inside, especially when society is quick to judge a person based on how they dress, how they look and what they do for a living.

Homeless Army veteran Jim Wolf is one of those people. After leaving the service, Jim has struggled with poverty and alcoholism. Inspired by Dove’s “Evolution” ad campaign, a Michigan non profit group, Dégagé Ministries and Rob Bliss Creative, set out to make a video showing how sometimes, transforming the exterior can sometimes reveal to someone their true potential.

Dégagé Ministries is a nonprofit organization that provides aid and shelter to people dealing with poverty, abuse, addiction, and unemployment.


[Rewind: Photography Helping War Veterans Overcome PTSD]

The three minute time lapse video, released just in time for Veteran’s Day, shows Wolf’s makeover – haircut, trim, new clothes and the final dramatic moment when Wolf sees himself in the mirror and then gives Bliss a big hug. The look on Wolf’s face shows a disbelief and hope (You might want to grab a tissue. I went through a few).


Wolf has now applied for veteran’s housing and is attending Alcoholics Anonymous. His outlook on life has changed because for the first time, someone showed him what he could be.

Happy Veteran’s Day to all those who have sacrificed, served and continue to serve our country so that we can enjoy our freedom. I personally am very grateful for your service.

[Via @Mashable/ Youtube]

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Zach Ashcraft

    I posted this on my facebook page today, and someone commented on it calling it superficial and pointless. I was sad. But then I just watched the video again and it made me happy once more

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    • Michelle Ford

      that person had to be very jaded. we all get bogged down with our own inner struggles and conversations. sometimes we just need a different perspective. this guy had a whole new lease on life after what essentially was a makeover. it was a simple way to kickstart his self confidence. i don’t see how anyone could scoff at that.

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    • Abel

      I’m sorry to hear that.
      I can totally relate to the Vet.
      Many people don’t realize that as superficial as things may seem, we are influenced by what we see. It’s human nature. It’s also the reason why people come to us as photographers.
      People aren’t paying to take a picture of themselves, they are paying to have a portrait of the person they want to be. In the words of a client, “I want a picture of the best me that I can be”
      They want it so that when they look at themselves, they can remember that the person looking back at them is in fact capable of doing great things. That reassurance and boost in self confidence helps them.
      You should tell your friend that no matter how superficial something seems, as long as it helps someone have faith in themselves, it’s good, isn’t it? :)

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    • JC

      The best test for whether that commenter is right is to check back on this fellow in a year or so.

      “That person” is probably less jaded than actually experienced with homeless addicts. If it was this easy to fix those problems, it wouldn’t be a problem anymore.

      But it’s possible. The “golden voice” guys turned his life around, after all… and kept it up for at least a couple years:

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