BROOKLYN, N.Y. - It's been 21 years since Gustavo Montenegro opened the doors of "Headrush" barbershop in Greenpoint.
He says the community embraced him from day one – and some of his customers have been coming to him for cuts ever since.
"Everybody's like family over here," Montenegro said.
Because of that, Montenegro, or "Goose" to most, says when one of his longtime customers sat in his chair a few weeks back, giving him a cut on the house was an easy decision.
That customer was a TSA employee working without pay.
"He came in and asked if I could give him a free haircut because times are hard, he wasn't getting his checks. So, for me, it was a no-brainer because he's like family," Montenegro said.
That's when Montenegro decided to offer free cuts to all federal employees during the shutdown.
And although the government has been temporarily reopened, Montenegro will continue the special on Tuesdays and Wednesdays until lawmakers reach a long-term budget deal.
All he asks for is proof of federal ID.
He says that extra $30 in someone's pocket could make a difference as these employees get back on their feet.
"We can't come close to giving them exactly what they deserve, what they need, but all we can do is to provide them with haircuts, I mean who doesn't like a haircut?" Montenegro said.
Montenegro’s goodwill comes as no surprise to his colleagues.
"Goose is an awesome person. He will take his jacket off and give it to anybody. He's that kind of person, he's really good. He's like a brother to me," said George Guerra, a fellow barber at Headrush Barbershop.
And that's the same feeling Montenegro has about his customers.
"We're just here to serve everybody. Make everybody happy. And just, you know, in these times that are bad, hopefully we can put some smiles on people's faces," Montenegro said.
So for cutting the stress for some of these federal workers, Gustavo "Goose" Montenegro is our New Yorker of the Week.