4EveryKid Nashville is an ambitious initiative with a simple goal: To provide new athletic shoes at least once per year to every local student experiencing homelessness.

4000 kids in Nashville experience homelessness.

Homelessness has been an ongoing problem in Middle Tennessee, and the pandemic has only made it worse. Communities of color are much more likely to experience homelessness and are hit harder by the recent economic and eviction crisis.

Why shoes?

An essential need

While numerous organizations are focused on alleviating the critical needs of food and shelter, school officials tell us that shoes are an essential need for students to succeed in school.

Insufficient funding

The total federal funding provided is only about $50 per homeless student to facilitate enrollment, attendance, and success in school. With other critical needs, schools can’t afford to buy shoes.

Psychological impact

Without a good pair of shoes, kids feel embarrassed, discouraged, or left out simply because they lack something most of us take for granted.

Shoes work wonders.

A good pair of shoes can change a child’s trajectory.

  • 54% of our partners report that youth have better school attendance once they get new shoes
  • 84% report an increase in confidence in shoe recipients
  • 79% report an increase in physical activity when kids receive their new shoes

“THEY FIT! And they are not from Goodwill! These are the first new pair!”

-8-year-old girl, Middle TN

For a homeless kid, a new pair of shoes means dignity, education, and health.

“For me, having a new pair of shoes… meant that I was worthy. It meant I had a choice when choice was such a rare commodity in my life. It meant that I could walk and jump and move without pain. It meant that I had dignity.”

 – Khadijah Williams, a survivor of homelessness and advocate for homeless youth 

4EveryKid originated in Nashville through a partnership with the HERO program in Metro Nashville Public Schools. Here are some of the other amazing partners we’ve been able to work with throughout Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

Copyright © 2021. Soles4Souls is a 501(c)3 Nonprofit Organization.