Back on My Feet uses running to help those experiencing homelessness change the way they see themselves so they can make a real change in their lives that result in employment and independent living. Eleven chapters across the United States meet weekly every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at 5:30 am.
Back on My Feet was founded in 2007 by then 26 year old Anne Mahlum in Philadelphia, PA. Anne, a runner since 16, frequently ran passed the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission and would see the men standing outside. Having a turbulent past herself, Anne knew something could be done with the power of running and the control it gave her over her situation. “If we can change the way people see themselves, can we change the direction of their lives?” Anne wondered.
On July 3, 2007 Anne put her thoughts to actions. She met with 9 members of the shelter armed with donated shoes, socks, and shorts. That day they had their first 1-mile run but not before signing and dating their Dedication Contract which committed runners to:
- Showing up every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 6am.
- Being on time
- Respecting yourself
- Supporting teammates
Anne started her mission with an unknown understanding of one’s ability to change their internal perspective of themselves and their situation through running. She quickly learned that her program helped those experiencing homelessness feel deserving, capable, hardworking, responsible, disciplined, focused and reliable. These characteristics helped all of these people move one step closer toward independence.
Since its inception in 2007, Back on My Feet has grown into 11 chapters across the United States helping more than 5,500 residential members who have run a combined 490,000 miles. Back on My Feet has also helped over 2,000 members obtain employment , over 1,300 members obtain housing, and more than 1,400 members have received training or education.
HYLETE 2016 goal
Goal $18,000 - It costs, on average, roughly $1,800 to move an individual experiencing homelessness through their life-changing program. This will give 10 people a second opportunity to gain control of their lives.
50% of all revenue from Back on My Feet tri-blend crews will go towards Back on My Feet's effort to helping those experience homelessness change their lives through running that results in employment and independent living.