Running is often defined as an action that propels one forward. One national non-profit is helping people to propel their lives forward towards more than just the finish line by taking an innovative approach to tackling homelessness.
Back on My Feet (BoMF), founded in Philadelphia in 2007 and now with chapters in eleven cities from New York to LA, uses running to help individuals experiencing homelessness and other challenges change the way they see themselves so they can make positive change in their lives that results in employment and independent living.
Check out Back on my Feet's (BoMF) box at The Feed!
People across all walks of life who find themselves living in a Back on My Feet partner facility can register for the program. Members must show their commitment to the program by running at 5:30 AM 3 days a week and maintain 90% attendance. After personally experiencing the positive transformation brought on by the benefits of running, program Members are then eligible to enter the Next Steps phase wherein Back on My Feet program staff work with them in job searching, educational training and finding affordable housing. Back on My Feet offers financial aid for qualified expenses such as security deposits and in partnership with its sponsors also offers programs teaching financial literacy and self-sufficiency. Members not only achieve program milestones, they also achieve running milestones with many completing half-marathons, full marathons and even ultra races! Through their own dedicated efforts, Members earn the opportunity to create a new road for themselves.
In the past 8 years, Members have tallied more than366,000 miles and the program has touched the lives of more than 4,000 Members with nearly 1500 Members earning employment and more than 1,000 Members moving into independent housing. Through the support of its national and local partners and hundreds of volunteers, Back on My Feet is also dedicated to changing the perception of homelessness.
“As our Chicago Executive Director tells our Members, ‘it is time to stop hitting the snooze button’. Running provides the discipline and challenge our Members need to gain the confidence in knowing that each of us is empowered to take charge of our lives and go that extra mile to create positive change regardless of the circumstances that led to being in a facility. Back on My Feet helps eliminate barriers to self-sufficiency and provides the community support essential to success”
- CEO Mary K. FitzGerald
To make a real difference in the lives of people in your community, go to backonmyfeet.org
and click donate now or sign up for one our upcoming FundRacing opportunities, such as the NYC Marathon!