Winter boots given to Anchorage homeless
With winter on its way, volunteers at Bean’s Café are working to take care of the homeless as the temperatures drop.
On Thursday afternoon, they handed out 1,200 pairs of custom-made winter boots.
Kelly Trang and Mark Barry founded the non-profit Sustainable and Viable Earth (SAVEarth), with the mission to re-use materials while helping those in need.
“These are ski boot liners that get thrown away by companies making custom ski boot liners,” Trang explained.
The brand new liners get tucked inside rubber boots to keep feet warm and dry.
Bean’s Café clients say that’s important because many homeless people spend hours on their feet every day.
“Usually we have to find a way to stay warm and keep motivated but that tears a number on your feet, especially if you don't have the right boots are equipment when you're out there,” said Emma Outwater, who has been homeless for about three years.
Kevin Charley said he’s spent nights on the street in the winter and is grateful to the group for their gift.
“It's pretty frigid out there. When it goes below zero or colder if you're not used to it or not knowing how to dress your feet, take care of your feet. These programs help out with people who don't have such things in their life,” Charley said.
SAVEarth is based in California but Trang and Barry saw a need in Alaska when the drove around and found people wearing sneakers even in the snow. This is their third year of distributing the boots around the state.
“Yesterday we were at the Downtown Soup Kitchen and this man had on house slippers with the tread on the bottom, he was wearing those. We gave him a pair and he was so happy,” Trang said.
The extra boots will be given to agencies like Brother Francis Shelter and the Fairbanks Rescue Mission.
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