Started by Natasha Baldivia in June 2020, the Community Tattoo Removal Project at OTM Skin makes tattoo removal—a lengthy and expensive process—a realistic option for people who want to erase the markers of their past and move forward into their future. The program primarily serves underrepresented groups, including ex-gang members, human trafficking survivors, individuals re-entering society, and others wanting to make a change. By offering free laser removal of the tattoos that hold them back, personally and professionally, the Community Tattoo Removal Project gives people the confidence and ability to take control of their lives and realize their full potential.
“Lives are changed because of programs like this. The fact is, sometimes all the personal rehabilitation in the world can’t change the way the world views you; but with this type of program, we can help change that and the way people view themselves,” Baldivia said.
Through the Community Tattoo Removal Project at OTM Skin, based in Colorado, Baldivia is able to help youths and adults that otherwise may not be able to afford full-price laser tattoo removal. Typically, this service takes anywhere from four to 12 or more sessions of laser treatment, which can amount to thousands of dollars—making it a cost-prohibitive procedure that is especially exclusive to people who are trying to recover from past hardship.
“Many [of my clients] have tattoos hindering employment, career changes, military entrance, and life-changing goals. By removing visible tattoos and those reminders of a past life, we can contribute to new confidence and opportunities,” Baldivia said.
She sees many clients through referrals from the Department of Corrections and Division of Youth Services, which has very limited funding for her services. By joining HSI, Baldivia aims to fill this gap and offer full treatment cycles of tattoo removal services to more people.
“The community program and project have plans to continue growing to help people wipe away the past and make way for the future,” Baldivia said. “My hope is that, as I fade the tattoos, negative memories fade with them to make room for a positive future. I envision a better life for these people, with new opportunities and economic growth.”
To learn more or support the Community Tattoo Removal Project at OTM Skin, please visit the link below.