“The worst ongoing thing is the fungus that goes on with people’s feet. It eats away and destroys the toenails and just makes it very hard for people to walk,” said Reverend Bob Book, a Christian clergyman at the Church of the Common Ground. He and his wife, Holly, have set to work cleansing the feet of the homeless in Atlanta.
Each week, 35 people come through his clinic to receive a foot soak, apricot pumice scrub, nail trim, menthol ointment massage, air freshener for their shoes, a dry pair of socks, and even insoles.
This sort of charity is taking off at clinics across America in places like Orlando, Boston, and Nashville — and proponents say it’s about more than just preventing the spread of bacterial foot infections: it’s about self-esteem, too.