Boots on the Ground Project


Recycle your old work boots for the homeless


It’s a lesser known fact that steel toe boots can be a priceless asset to some.  Most of us can walk into a store today and afford a pair of comfortable work boots. Something we take for granted can be instrumental in helping a homeless person turn their life around.

Homeless people can’t find and secure employment the way that most people can. Most don’t have access to a computer to apply online for a job, or to type up and print a resume to give out in person. If they qualify for a job, how can you contact them and set up an interview if they don’t have access to a personal phone or email? If they come in for an interview, do they have access to the clothes that the employer expects them to wear to said interview?

Regardless of anyone’s personal opinions on homelessness and homeless people, everyone can agree on one thing. No one would like to be homeless.

Day labor is one of the most accessible forms of employment for homeless people. Organizations like the Bissell Centre work together with groups looking for laborers and arrange casual work for homeless people. One of the biggest obstacles for qualifying for such a job is having steel toe boots.

The JCI Edmonton Boots on the Ground program is an attempt at removing this obstacle. The program aims to collect as many used steel toe boots as possible. Once we’ve collected them, will drop those off at the Mustard Seed Neighbour Centre and Bissell Centre where it will be distributed to those who need them.

For the scope of the project we’ll be setting up collection bins at two types of locations.  The first will be drop off locations advertised on our website, where people will be able to drop off used boots. The other will be businesses that can collect boots from their staff internally, such as machine shops and construction groups.

The best way for our program to grow is to spread the word about it. If you or anyone you know would be interested in contributing to the program, get in touch with us and we can supply a collection bin and sign so you can start collecting boots as well. To learn more about our project visit our web page at or email us at Together, let’s help the homeless and make a positive impact in our city.


About JCI Edmonton

This program is supported by JCI Edmonton. JCI Edmonton is the fourth largest of the 16 Canadian chapters of Junior Chamber International (JCI), a worldwide federation of professionals under 40 years old. JCI is comprised of more than 200,000 members in more than 5,000 communities in over 100 countries. There are also more than 1 million JCI alumni, including Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, John F. Kennedy, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, former vice-president Al Gore, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and many others. JCI’s mission is to contribute to the advancement of the global community by providing the opportunity for young people to develop leadership skills, social responsibility, entrepreneurship, and fellowship. These areas are those that we deem necessary to create positive change, both in local communities and on the international stage. Visit our websites to learn more about us: Edmonton ( International (, email us at