Sometimes hitting rock bottom is the very best thing that can happen to you. Low points allow us the opportunity to rise, to overcome, to surpass what where we previously stood. Sometimes that journey back up the mountain completely changes our life and the lives of those around us.
Scott Sowle knows what rock bottom feels like. Scott lived homeless in Seattle for 13 years, spending a majority of his time under the Magnolia Street Bridge while trying to find shelter. Thoughts of suicide followed him during this time. It was a battle physically and mentally just to make it to tomorrow.
It was during his time at Union Gospel Mission shelter that Scott had an idea that would change his life and the lives of others in his same situation. Scott struggled with keeping his feet warm during the cold months of Seattle. The local mission had no shoes at all in stock either. Scott decided he would change that.
He immediately started sitting on a street corner with a sign, box, and fliers asking for people to donate their shoes. Others bought into Scott’s cause immediately and the shoes came flying in. Scott would clean the shoes then take them out to the streets to those in need.
Similar to Steve Smith and Samaritan’s Feet, Scott Sowles and his nonprofit, Redeeming Soles, is trying to put shoes where they are needed – on the homeless all over Seattle. It’s a life-changing gesture for many in need throughout the Seattle area. In fact, more than 20% of medical emergencies by the homeless are severe foot problems.
“I took for so many years when I was on the street. I just…always took. I was taking from services that were given to me, and I wasn’t able to give back. Today I can give back. And that’s huge for me,” Scott shares.