DID YOU KNOW? Up to 45% of homeless men wear ill-fitting shoes, and 75% of unsheltered men and women are on their feet for at least 5 hours a day!
Last night, the Millionair Club Charity (MCC) hosted its very first foot care clinic. The event took place at our Belltown program center were we hit the ground running with an incredible team of volunteers from the Seattle University Nursing program, in partnership with the Seattle University Executive Leadership Program and Redeeming Soles. Services and gear provided during the clinic included new socks, new shoes, and individual foot exams.
By the end of the evening, 20 members of the MCC’s Supportive Employment Program had received an individual foot scrub and brief exam. The room was all smiles as our MCC clients enjoyed their foot baths, and afterward, each worker picked out a brand new pair of shoes, with the option of choosing tennis shoes, non-slip black shoes, or work boots.
One man had hitchhiked in size 12 shoes from Maine to Seattle. No small “feet,” considering his true size was 14 wide! As soon as our volunteers located a new pair of shoes in his size, he threw away his old ones with a sigh of relief. He is currently training with Metropolitan Improvement District to become a Street Ambassador (part of the MCC’s Jobs Connect Program). This job involves lots of walking so those new shoes will serve him well.
It’s easy to overlook, but having proper footwear is a vital foundation for safety on the job, and we think that the foot care clinic is a great way to help folks get job ready. Thanks so much to the donors and volunteers who made this happen! The Millionair Club Charity hopes to make the foot care clinic a monthly event.
ABOUT THE ISSUE – Foot Health and the Homeless
Compared to the general population, foot pain is significantly more common among homeless individuals. For the unsheltered, infections related to poor hygiene are common, but even more common are problems related to repetitive stress. This makes sense, because people without housing tend to walk a lot.
According to one study, 74% of respondents stated they were on their feet 5 hours or more each day, walking a median of 5 miles. This daily foot-stress is compounded by the fact that many homeless individuals have ill-fitting shoes. Foot stress can also be worsened by preexisting conditions, such as diabetes, which are prevalent among homeless populations. Sources and More Info