THE pain he suffered from each step he took must have been agonising for a homeless man.
He had put up with the pain for years because he did not have the money to pay for an operation.
However, thanks to Shoalhaven Podiatry Clinic and the Shoalhaven Homeless Hub this same man can now walk around and not feel pain.
The clinic and the hub recently joined forces to help people with an often neglected part of their body - their feet.
Jennifer from Shoalhaven Podiatry was aware of the work done by the homeless hub and thought the clinic could offer to help people.
Michael Witcombe, podiatrist and owner of the well-known podiatry clinic, thought it was a brilliant idea.
“Jennifer suggested it would be a good thing to provide a service to homeless people,” Michael said.
They had a meeting with the staff from the hub, things progressed well and they now go to the hub every fortnight.
“John and Bonnie mainly go and they deserve all the credit. They are great young people,” Michael said.
Shoalhaven Homeless Hub manager Kerri Snowden said the podiatrists fit in well at the hub and like to have a joke and a laugh with the homeless people.
“We are very grateful for the service they provide. They fit in very well and they do a great job,” she said.
Michael pays for the staff to go up to the hub.
People get treatment for various foot problems.
One person ended up getting surgery on a badly infected ingrown toenail.
“He had put up with for years and now he should have full relief,” Michael said.
The operation was heavily subsidised by Shoalhaven Podiatry and the hub paid for the rest of the treatment.
Ms Snowden said when money is donated to the hub it’s used to help pay for various things, like medical costs.
“People need to know where the money they donate goes,” she said.
Ms Snowden said because of that generous donation and the work from the podiatry clinic team the homeless man can walk around pain-free.
She added many homeless people don’t see medical specialists because they simply don’t have the money.
Read more: What the homeless hub is all about
Read more: Shelter provides safety
Both Michael and Ms Snowden say everyone takes their feet for granted until something goes wrong.
Michael added the service will continue.
“It’s good for our clientele and good for our podiatrists. It’s just a very positive thing - in fact, it’s all positive,” he said
“I can’t think of a negative aspect to it.”
A homeless person's feet are often their only means of transport.
“They (your feet) are your independence and they are your mobility,” Michael said.
Michael added diabetes was an increasing health problem in society.
“With the increasing incidents of diabetes there is an amputation in this country every two hours,” he said.
“With an amputation there goes your mobility.”
The hub is located at 27 Junction and call 4423 2804 for more information or to offer support.