It was called "Footwear with Care" and 266 people, both adults and children, had their feet screened by seven local podiatrists and received a pair of shoes and socks, personnel care items, and a meal.
Clinic participants received shoes donated from the program’s recent “Stuff a Hartford Police Cruiser” event at West Hartford’s Fleet Feet. The fundraiser generated about 400 new and “like new,” high-quality running shoes and nearly $1100 in donations. For every $25 donated that day, Fleet Feet contributed a new pair of shoes.
Saturday’s participants were referred by homeless shelters, Hartford police officers and Community Partners in Action.
“Footwear with Care” was inspired by Hartford police officer, Jim Barrett, an Iraqi War veteran and advocate for the city’s homeless. Moved by a homeless vet, whose only shoes were a pair of disintegrating flips-flops, Barrett bought him some new sneakers.
Though the program was formally launched this month, it has been operating since February, putting 80 pairs of shoes and boots onto the feet of our most vulnerable population. Typically, those in need of shoes are referred by Hartford police officers and directors of homeless shelters to Community Partners in Action. A team at Community Partners Action brings and fits donated shoes to children and adults.