Back on My Feet is Fleet Feet Sports – Chicago’s Charity of the Month for April.
Back on My Feet revolutionizes the way society approaches homelessness. Their unique running-based model demonstrates that if you first restore confidence, strength and self-esteem, individuals are better equipped to tackle the road ahead and move toward jobs, homes and new lives.
For all in need Back on My Feet aims to provide: practical training and employment resources for achieving independence; an environment that promotes accountability; and a community that offers compassion and hope.
With programs in 12 major cities across America, Back on My Feet uses running and community to motivate and support individuals every step of the way from homelessness to independence. The success of Back on My Feet is measured not only by the healthy impact of miles run, but also by how many individuals obtain education, employment and housing.
Back on My Feet recruits members (individuals experiencing homelessness) at homeless and residential facilities around the country and begins with a commitment to run three days a week in the early morning. After 30 days in the program, members with 90% attendance earn the opportunity to move into the second phase of the program called Next Steps, which provides educational support, job training programs, employment partnership referrals and housing resources. Almost 80% of individuals who start the program move into Next Steps.
Since launching in 2007, Back on My Feet has served more than 6,000 individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness and engaged more than 100,000 volunteers and supporters. At any given time 80% of members are participating in the Next Steps program, working to secure employment and housing. Our members have run a collective 500,000 miles and obtained more than 4,000 jobs and homes. More than 1,500 members have completed their GED, taken up further education or completed vocational training. Within six months of becoming a Back on My Feet alumnus, 90% of members maintain their employment, 60% receive a wage increase and 20% achieve a promotion.
For all with the capacity to serve – volunteers, donors, community and corporate partners – Back on My Feet seeks to engage in the profound experience of empowering individuals to achieve what once seemed impossible through the seemingly simple act of putting one foot in front of the other.