Photos Show Riverside Firefighter Giving Shoes to Barefoot Man on Freeway Overpass

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In a simple but moving display of humanity, firefighters gave a pair of shoes to an elderly homeless man whom they saw walking barefoot on a freeway overpass in Riverside earlier this week.

Photos provided by the Riverside Fire Department show a fire captain giving a pair of shoes to a homeless man on Jan. 11, 2016.
Photos provided by the Riverside Fire Department show a fire captain giving a pair of shoes to a homeless man on Jan. 11, 2016.

Engine 6-C was returning from training Monday when its members noticed “a local elderly homeless gentleman walking very slowly,” and without shoes, on Columbia Avenue at the 215 Freeway, said Battalion Chief Bruce Vanderhorst of the Riverside Fire Department.

The fire engine pulled over, and Firefighter David Gilstrap offered the tennis shoes he had with him, according to a post on the agency’s Facebook page.

Photos included in the post show fire Capt. Rob Gabler walking over to the pedestrian helping him put the shoes on his feet, the department said. Gabler also offered water to the man.

The man was “very appreciative” after receiving the shoes, according to Vanderhorst.

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