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Sneakerheads donate shoes

The City of Melbourne also partners with Anglicare Vic, Launch Housing, Melbourne City Mission, The Salvation Army, The Big Issue, Youth Projects and Vincentcare, all of which accept donations, The Age reports.

When the founders of the Sneaker Laundry – a start-up in the CBD that cleans sneakers – wanted to give to the homeless at Christmas they looked to their own feet.

“Me and my business partner had so many sneakers that never saw the light of day,” says co-founder Eugene Cheng.

“What we realised was our customer base had a lot of collectors. A lot of people are massive sneakerheads who love buying more sneakers than they can wear.”

Just before Christmas in 2017, the Sneaker Laundry put a call out for customers to donate shoes to the homeless. The response was “crazy”.

Over two years people donated more than 200 pairs of sneakers, which the Sneaker Laundry painstakingly cleaned, disinfected and restored.

“Our criteria was they be restored to a quality that anyone would wear, so people felt loved and not that they were receiving someone’s crap,” Mr Cheng says.

In hindsight, that was the easy part. Far trickier was the process of distributing them to the homeless. “It was 40 degrees, stinking hot, and we were driving around in a van trying to find rough sleepers,” Mr Cheng says.


How Melbourne’s sneakerheads are helping the homeless this Christmas (The Age)

The Sneaker Laundry