This Program is Helping the Homeless – With Running

Tackling homelessness one step at a time.

Jan 25, 2016
back on my feet alum running marathon

Back on My Feet has served 5,721 members since 2009

The skills needed to become a good runner translate perfectly to everyday life. Strength, perseverance, taking things one step at a time – this is what it takes to excel as a runner - and also as a person. Back on My Feet applies this very philosophy by asking the question:  why not use running to help those in need?

Back on My Feet is an organization that uses running as a means to create self-sufficiency among those experiencing homelessness. It combats homelessness through the power of running, community support and essential employment and housing resources. Back on My Feet doesn’t aim to create runners within the homeless population – rather, it uses the power of running to change the way those experiencing homelessness see themselves so they can make a change in their lives.

running shoes in a circle Back on My Feet aims to promote self-sufficiency among those experiencing homelessness 

The one requirement to take part? Dedication. Members must commit to show up every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:00 am. They have to commit to being on time, respecting themselves, and supporting their teammates. The morning runs – which are now held in 11 cities throughout the U.S. – create a sense of equality, community, and positivity. Most importantly, running helps those experiencing homelessness to start seeing themselves as deserving, capable, hardworking, responsible, disciplined, focused and reliable.

Back on My Feet asks, “if we can change the way people see themselves, can we change the direction of their lives?” The answer is a resounding “yes.” Since 2007, Back on My Feet has served more than 5,500 individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness and engaged more than 100,000 volunteers and supporters. What's more, members have run a collective 500,000 miles and obtained more than 3,500 jobs and/or homes.

This organization is the perfect example of what happens when you stop running by those who need help -  and start running with them.

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Mirele writes about everything related to doing good, with a particular interest in volunteering and social entrepreneurship, informed by her background in eco tourism.

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