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Homeless dads get pampered with manicures, pedicures for Father’s Day

June 17, 2017

On most weekends, Richard Tirado wakes up before sunrise and looks for cans and bottles to recycle.

Tirado, 60, is homeless in Tustin and has been living in his Chevy Suburban with his wife for nine months, using the recycling money — sometimes as much as $28 per day — to pay for gas and food.

But on Saturday, June 17, Tirado’s scavenging routine was interrupted with something new: a free manicure, pedicure and breakfast.

Tirado, a father of two, said he had never received a manicure before Saturday. He joined a handful of other homeless fathers or dads in need at SP Nail Spa in Tustin.

“This is heaven,” Tirado told TyRon Jackson, whose nonprofit Operation Warm Wishes hosted the “Pampering Papa” event.

As Jimmy Buffet and Kenny Chesney tunes played in the background, Tirado smiled and laughed as the employees washed his feet, cut his toenails and turned on the vibrating massage chair.

“My wife — she’s not going to recognize me,” Tirado told one of the employees.

Next to Tirado sat a half-dozen other men, most of whom had never received a manicure or pedicure.

With their pant legs rolled up, the men sat back, relaxed and ate a sampling of sausage, croissants and bananas. One man even started falling asleep.

Tirado said he’s grateful for Jackson’s help in providing food and clothes over the past few months.

“He’s a really, really nice guy,” Tirado said.

Since 2013, Jackson has used the Tustin-based Operation Warm Wishes to give food and clothing to individuals and families throughout Orange County.

For Jackson, Sunday marks the first year without his estranged father, who died last year.

“I had hope that one day my dad and I would have a great relationship, but that never happened,” Jackson said.

Jackson held the first “Pampering Papa” event, which cost the nonprofit about $500, to help dads in need.

“These are my dads today,” he said. “I want to take that frustration and turn it into love and hope and inspiration and give these dads that.”

Among the first to arrive at the spa were Robert Miner, 60, and his three children.

As a single parent, Miner said he’s been unable to afford to treat himself to a spa. He said his toes were hurting before he got the pedicure.

“That’s the main thing I was really scared about,” he said. “‘Is it going to be painful?’”

After the spa, Tirado met his wife in the parking lot at their Suburban, which was loaded with their belongings and a bag of recyclables.

On Father’s Day, it will be like any other weekend day for Tirado. He will be out looking for more cans and bottles, and hoping to bring in enough money for gas and food.

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