VENTURA, Calif. – Sometimes the small things make a big difference. For many people without a permanent home, a pair of clean, warm socks brings comfort that the more fortunate take for granted. The Ventura County Continuum of Care recently applied for a grant and was rewarded with 2,500 pairs of socks for homeless residents.
Socks are the most-requested clothing item at homeless shelters. To help meet this need, Bombas, a New York-based sock manufacturer, established a one-for-one business model that donates a pair of socks for the homeless for every pair that is purchased at retail. They also offer a grant program – Giving Partners – for organizations such as the Continuum of Care. To date, the program has donated more than 10 million pairs of socks.
“We are delivering the socks to our local homeless shelters and street outreach teams,” said Jennifer Harkey, a program administrator for the County of Ventura. “These specially designed, anti-microbial socks are a small but important step in improving the lives of our homeless population.”
And unfortunately, that population is growing. The recently completed annual homeless count showed an almost 29 percent increase in the number of homeless adults and children in the county. The Ventura County Continuum of Care Alliance was established to help reverse this trend.
“We’re working collaboratively with other organizations to end homelessness in Ventura County,” said Harkey. “We’re dedicated to promoting a safe, desirable and thriving community here. A pair of socks may not seem like much to most of us, but the journey out of homelessness is a series of small steps, and these socks from Bombas help make those first steps a little more comfortable.”