Did you know that socks are the #1 requested item from homeless shelters? Did you know that socks are also often the least received items at homeless shelters? People with a heart for the homeless are often so eager to help them - they’ll participate in a canned food drive, or serve a meal at a soup kitchen, or hand them their leftovers as they walk past them on their way from the restaurant to the car. But think about this: how do the homeless people that we are trying to help get to a place like a shelter where they’re able to eat a meal? How do they get to that place right outside of a restaurant where someone sees them and is able to give them their leftovers?
Food is essential to life, but it's possible that socks may be even more essential to life for a homeless person. Socks act as a lifeline for homeless people. Without them, feet will become infected and blistered. When homeless people can’t walk, they can’t get food. A pair of socks by itself isn’t going to save anybody, but it is the idea behind giving homeless person socks that could potentially act as a stepping stone to deeper engagement with poverty. Socks are crucial to the survival of a homeless person, and by making socks more easily accessible to them, we are communicating that we understand them on a deeper level. I think it communicates that we are willing to meet them where they’re at. We know they’re hungry, but we also know that their only means of getting to the food they need is by their own two feet.
Sometimes, the shelters that these homeless people get food at, or the couple of seconds that it takes for someone to give a homeless person their leftovers, is the only time during a whole day or week that they will interact with other people. It might be the only time all day or week that they feel noticed. Little interactions like this can end up changing somebody’s life in the end, and it’s so important that the homeless population across our country is at least getting the opportunities to be in situations where that is possible. I think that doing what we can to try and make sure socks are something that homeless shelters always have plenty of is a great first step to reaching these people that we have a heart for!