(CBS) — Dozens of homeless people will benefit tonight from free foot exams on the city’s West Side.

Dr. Simon Lee has been organizing the Our Hearts to Your Soles event in Chicago since 2007.  He and a couple of other doctors from Midwest Orthopedics at Rush and a group of medical students from Rush University Medical Center will provide foot exams Wednesday evening for more than 100 homeless people at the Franciscan House of Mary and Joseph shelter in the 2700 block of West Harrison Street.

The men, women and some children who’ll be examined will also get a free pair of new shoes and a few pairs of socks, Lee says.

It’s important the homeless have good footwear since most of them are on the street all day because shelters are only open at night.

During the exams, doctors will see everything from frostbite and corns and calluses to what Lee calls “trench rot,” or chronically wet feet.

Some of the foot issues, he says, are caused by other medical problems, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Lee says the “Our Hearts to Your Soles” event began in Philadelphia around 20 years ago when an orthopedic doctor’s son needed to organized a community service project.  The son eventually suggested to his father that similar events should be set up around the country.

Now, there are more than 30 cities where the homeless receive free foot exams and new shoes and socks around Thanksgiving, Lee says.


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