Tennis Shoes for the Homeless Program Tops 1,000

Jerry Fay

A big thank you to the SaddleBrooke Pickleball Association (SBPA) and the SaddleBrooke Tennis Club for their generosity. Over the holidays they increased their donations, and now more than 1,000 pairs of gently used tennis shoes have been donated to the homeless since the program started in 2018.

Currently the program is focusing distribution of shoes to two locations serving homeless women, men, and children: The Z Mansion and the Gospel Rescue Mission. The Z Mansion provides a Sunday brunch and bag lunch to over 200 individuals, plus a soup kitchen every day and limited medical services. The Gospel Rescue Mission provides daily food, showers, and a safe place to sleep—the kind of security necessary to folks seeking a second chance in life. Shoes that are donated to these organizations are always the first items to go because the people they serve are always desperate for a good pair of shoes.

One of the Z Mansion volunteers made it clear how necessary this program is.

“We wanted to thank you so much for dropping off the shoes. They are the most coveted clothing item at the Z Mansion. Please thank all the pickleball and tennis players who contributed. Because of their generosity a lot of homeless people will be able to walk in comfort,” they said.

Shoes from our program have also been provided to the Salvation Army, Sister Jose’s Women’s Center, Casa Maria’s Homeless Shelter, and Casa Alita’s Homeless Shelter.

Shoes of any type are one of the top needs at all homeless shelters, as well as being in the highest demand. Obviously, the need far exceeds the number of shoes currently being provided, and if others in the SaddleBrooke Community would like to donate gently used wearable shoes—or even new shoes—of any type, there are two donation locations.

Bins marked “Used Tennis Shoes for the Homeless” are located at the pickleball courts under the spectator bench and at the Tennis Center by the ice machine.