Philly effort aims to outfit 1,000 homeless teens with new sneakers

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 Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell and Judith McDaniel talk about the effort to collect 1,000 pairs of sneakers for homeless youth. (Courtesy Teresa Lundy)

Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell and Judith McDaniel talk about the effort to collect 1,000 pairs of sneakers for homeless youth. (Courtesy Teresa Lundy)

Some young people in Philadelphia will be getting new sneakers as part of a campaign to give them a good start to the summer. 

Judith McDaniel, who founded the nonprofit Teenagers in Charge in 1995, said giving teens in homeless shelters new socks and sneakers means a great deal.”It’s important because, when they leave their homes, they only leave with what is on their feet and what is on their back,” McDaniel said. “So we want to make their displacement a little more comfortable — just in case they need to run, just in case they need to run fast.”Homelessness continues to be a major problem, said City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell.”Unfortunately, young people — especially — view clothes as part of their self-esteem, they think they are successful if they look good,” Blackwell said. “The things you and I have lived long enough to know are superficial really matter when they are growing up.”The effort started with the goal of collecting 100 pairs of sneakers; McDaniel said contributions tripled that goal, and they now hope to collect 1,000 pairs.

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