We were contacted not too long ago by a representative from Dr. Tattoff, a tattoo removal clinic chain, informing us that the company is opening a new clinic and is interested in removing tattoos of certain people free of charge, if those tattoos are preventing them from getting a job.
This clinic’s desire to offer pro bono tattoo removals supports our belief that there are many companies, nonprofits and individual doctors, nurses and tattoo artists out there who see a great need for this type of service and want to provide it.
In fact, we know the need is there. Our directory of free and low-cost tattoo removal clinics, which we launched last spring on our webste, along with the blog articles we’ve written about tattoo removal, get far and away the greatest number of hits of any subject we have ever written about. And they get many hits on a daily basis.
Our directory has more than 140 clinics in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Although more than 40% are in California, we’re hearing from people across the country about what they’re doing and that they want to be included in the directory. We are confident as time goes by more and more programs throughout the U.S. will be added to our directory.
Because there is such an interest in this subject, we have decided to write a manual on how to set up a free or low cost tattoo removal clinic or program. We’re hoping it will serve as a resource for anyone who might be interested in setting up such a program. Many of the people we’ve talked to as we do our research and write the case studies that will be included in this manual have told us that they are happy to talk to anyone who would like to start a program similar to theirs.
The case studies in the manual include everything from nonprofits working to keep youth out of gangs and city government gang intervention programs to a Seventh Day Adventist Church that previously had a program in Los Angeles and a small San Francisco suburb that includes tattoo removal as part of a job readiness program.
We hope that this manual will help connect organizations working in isolation and organizations just getting going to share information about the successes they’ve achieved and the challenges they face.
Although currently a work in progress, the manual will include:
- A history of tattoo removal
- The science behind the laser process and what makes it work.
- Statistics on people who have tattoos and what others (including employers) think of them
- Barriers that exist for people with visible tattoos
- The process of getting tattoos removed
- What questions patients and potential patients might ask
- Manufacturers of tattoo removal laser devices and what they produce
- Success stories from those who have had their tattoos removed
- Tattoo removal laser device rental companies
- Laser tattoo removal schools
- Professional associations
- Case studies of free and low-cost tattoo removal programs
- Where to search for funding to start a clinic
- Ideas of other services, such as resume writing and job readiness skills assistance, that can be included as part of the program
- An online forum offering a community to share best practices and ideas and ask questions
If you know anybody who might want to contribute information to the manual or be the subject of one of our case studies, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
$10-$20 can make a difference and provide funding to send job search books to prison and jail libraries and expand our tattoo removal outreach.