Podiatry practice kicks in to help the homeless

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Country Foot Care is adding another name to the long list of charitable partners it’s garnered in 32 years.

The podiatry practice  with offices in Mineola, Williston Park and Patchogue announced Monday a partnership with California-based non-profit Shoes for the Homeless to help put shoes on the feet of homeless people on Long Island.

“The idea is to get the communities that we practice in involved so that rather than them tossing away their shoes that might not be stylish anymore, they could actually help somebody who really needs them,” said Dr. Steven Brook, Country Foot Care’s owner and founder.

The practice is donating $1,000 to Shoes for the Homeless and plans to start holding shoe drives early next year to help the organization establish a base in the New York metro area, County Foot Care’s Dr. Elizabeth Piselli said.

The group was founded by podiatrist Dr. Ira Diamond and is well known in the field, Piselli said. Its work is important, she said, because footwear can prevent many foot problems doctors see among homeless people.

“We just know that so many things can be avoided just by proper shoes that don’t have holes,” Piselli said.

The homeless populations are growing in Nassau County and Suffolk County, where Country Foot Care’s Patchogue office opened Dec. 4.

Long Island’s homeless population has increased from 3,123 people in January 2013 to 3,860 in January 2015, according to statistics from the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless.

“We just feel compelled to help,” Brook said.

Country Foot Care supports several other charities, including Habitat for Humanity, Disabled American Veterans and about a dozen animal welfare groups, Brook said.