Happy Feet Clinic
How to help L.A.’s homeless? One foot at a time. Without homes or any mode of transportation, hundreds of homeless people walk an average of 13 miles a day. Some walk for days, weeks, or months without having access to basic necessities such as clean water or properly fitted shoes. Many even refuse to air out their feet, conducive of many foot problems, afraid that their shoes might get stolen. As we, Happy Feet Clinic, provide those basic necessities and more, we are blessed with a powerfully humbling experience. At shelters around Los Angeles, including the Union Rescue Mission in downtown L.A., the Ocean Park Community Center in Santa Monica, the New Image Emergency Shelter in South LA, and PATH in Westwood, we treat hundreds of homeless people to a soothing foot wash in a tub of warm, soapy water. Next, we work side by side with podiatrists as they administer foot exams for the homeless community. Throughout the process, we interact with a variety of people in need of help and most importantly become aware of the large prominence of under-served communities and their critical need for assistance. For many students, it is hard to grasp how prominent this population is in a thriving country as America. At first, students squirm at the thought of washing feet (especially those that may need much more care than our own). As soon as the event comes to an end however, many are instilled with the feeling to return again and again. The power to help someone who has lost family, work, and shelter and put a smile on their face is an amazing feeling. This is what makes our organization unique. Any student with an interest in reaching out to under-served communities is invited to join.
Signatories: Julie Chung, Kelly Ho, and Rachel Nguy
Advisor: Pamela R Cysner
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