The New Haven PAWS Project

As a rising second year student at the Yale School of Public Health, Ashton Gores was deeply moved by an experience that she had while working as a coordinator at the Neighborhood Health Project one rainy Saturday morning in July.

The Neighborhood Health Project (NHP) is a free health screening clinic operated by students from the Yale Health Professional Schools that runs every Saturday morning in the basement of the Episcopal Church of St. Paul & St. James from 9-10:30 AM. NHP is setup alongside Loaves & Fishes, the largest weekend food pantry and clothes closet available to the homeless and less fortunate of New Haven, Connecticut, serving nearly 400 persons each Saturday.

In July 2017, a homeless man, badly beaten after sleeping in a bus stop that he preferred to local shelters asked Ashton to look at his feet before setting out to walk to the hospital due to the limited treatment capacity of NHP. He was insistent on walking because of an unpleasant past experience in which he lost a portion of one of his fingers in an ambulance, and did not want to accept a taxi. His shoes, far too large, created perfect irritation with damp socks from recent rain. He likely had not taken his socks and shoes off for weeks to months. His feet were badly infected and the only available solution was to offer a clean pair of socks from the clothes closet. When Ashton went to the back of Loaves & Fishes, however, she was shook to find that the clothes closet that serves 400, had only 12 socks. Not 12 pairs of socks, 12 individual socks. As she left that day, she left heartbroken; yet, determined to do more.

Since that day in July, Ashton has set out on a mission to bring together members of both the Yale and New Haven communities to provide footwear and foot care to the homeless and less fortunate of New Haven during National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week in November.

Earlier in August Ashton initiated a partnership with the global shoe nonprofit Souls4Soles that have committed to 100 pairs of shoes for the November event, however, there is a cost of shipping and materials of roughly $3 per pair of shoes. Furthermore, official sponsorship from a 501(c)(3 ) was needed to secure the shoe donation which was kindly provided by New Haven Christ Presbyterian Church. In addition to all of the supplies that will be needed to wash feet, provide socks and any other incidental costs, it is Ashton's hope to establish The New Haven PAWS Project as an official nonprofit organization witholding its own 501(c)(3) tax identification that has the capacity to expand and sustain within the New Haven community even after she has left Yale. An estimated total of $10,000 will allow The New Haven PAWS Project to deliver these desired services, as well as apply for nonprofit status to improve more lives in the future.

Thank you kindly for your financial support for the mission of The New Haven PAWS Project.


Ashton Gores
New Haven, CT

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