Sore feet may not seem like a big health issue, but foot care can provide more than physical comfort. Hear our partner’s story.
If you are homeless, you spend a lot of your time on your feet, walking. Sometimes it’s for hours at a time, from shelter to shelter, in search of a meal, a bed, or just a hot cup of coffee. And often you are walking in someone else’s cast-off shoes, so they don’t really fit properly. If you are lucky, you have socks, unless they wore out or were stolen.
Life on Vancouver, British Columbia’s Downtown Eastside is tough at the best of times, but brutal when you are homeless. First United Church Outreach Mission is in the middle of this area and every weekday offers a special foot care program for the men and women who spend hours walking. It’s vital to keep people’s feet clean and dry and tend to any minor problems before they become big problems. Volunteers from other Vancouver United Churches take turns, making each person who walks in feel special, bringing them a warm footbath with Epsom salts, offering clean socks gathered in many city-wide sock drives, and taking the time to talk and listen.
Together the clients and the volunteers are forming a community and getting to know each other better. A pair of clean socks and a hug may seem like very little, but for people who spend hours on their own walking the streets, First United is an oasis of comfort and hope.
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