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Helping The Homeless Put Their Best Foot Forward

Rob, in transition from homelessness, bathes his feet at the Best Foot Forward clinic at Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission. (Credit: Pat Loeb)

Rob, in transition from homelessness, bathes his feet at the Best Foot Forward clinic at Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission. (Credit: Pat Loeb)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A new non-profit with an unusual mission is having its first fundraiser, tonight, at the Field House in Center City. The group provides a very special service to the homeless.

Cohen: “So what does it feel like? It itches and it burns?”

Man: “No, it itches.”

Kara Cohen goes where few would tread: to the most neglected feet in the city.

“The homeless population often walks around in shoes that they didn’t purchase themselves so they’re ill-fitting, they’re walking around in all kinds of weather, lots of hours a day, maybe don’t get to change their socks very regularly.”

Cohen is a home health care nurse but once a month she holds a foot clinic at the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission, where homeless men soak their feet, get a foot rub, lotion, powder and clean socks.

“It’s so rewarding because the guys feel so much better about themselves when they leave. You’ll hear them say that: ‘I feel so much better than when I came in.’”

Kara Cohen, founder of "Best Foot Forward." (Credit: Pat Loeb)

Kara Cohen, founder of “Best Foot Forward.” (Credit: Pat Loeb)

Cohen started the clinic with a Schweitzer fellowship, last year, and recently formed a non-profit to keep it going, something its dozens of clients are hoping for.

“Oh, I think this is the best service offered here,” one appreciative client says.