Downey, Murphy & Houghtaling Bill to Raise Awareness of the Need for Socks for the Homeless Signed Into Law
Resolution Designates February 14 of Each Year as “Socks for the Homeless Day”
TRENTON) – A joint resolution sponsored by Assembly Democrats Joann Downey, Carol Murphy, and Eric Houghtaling to raise public awareness of homelessness and need for socks among the homeless was signed into law on Wednesday.
This measure (AJR-51) designates February 14 of each year as “Socks for the Homeless Day.” It encourages the donation of socks to homeless individuals – something that is rarely included in clothing donations.
“Unprotected feet, especially during the winter months, could lead to serious health problems,” said Downey (D-Monmouth). “and, more often than not, the homeless do not have the means to seek treatment.”
By increasing the amount of socks donated to the homeless, the number of health problems among them could significantly decrease, the sponsors said. They noted socks help to protect the skin from injury and health issues that can develop from extreme temperatures. Without them, the legislators said, there is a higher risk for frostbite, hypothermia, blisters, and ulcers.
“There are over 8,500 homeless people in New Jersey who face this problem every day,” said Murphy (D-Burlington). “The intent of this resolution is to raise awareness and ultimately benefit the health and safety of the homeless.”
“Although socks are a basic need for most of us, they can be considered a luxury for others,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “A small donation could go a long way and even save a life.”
The bill was passed by the Senate on February 1 (40-0) and by the Assembly on February 15 (73-0).