Activists Making a Difference - "Back On My Feet"
When we started Illuminate we wanted to focus attention on solutions, not just problems, and we will be doing more of that in the coming weeks in our "Activists Making a Difference" posts. We want to capture innovative ideas and programs created to address difficult social and cultural problems that could be replicated in other locations. And, I'm happy to say, there are a lot to choose from.
One such project is called "Back on My Feet" which now has running clubs in 12 major cities across the United States. They explain the basic components of the program like this:
"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."
However, the next question with regard to projects such as "Back on My Feet" should always be....But, what is the Impact? Does it work?
Katy Sherratt, the CEO recognizes that and they explain their accomplishments this way:
Since launching in 2007, Back on My Feet has engaged more than 100,000 volunteers and supporters. At any given time, 80% of our members are participating in our Next Steps program, working to secure employment and housing. Our members have run a collective 500,000 miles and obtained more than 5,500 jobs and homes. 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.
And their impact was confirmed by the respected consulting agency, The PA Consulting Group.
If you would like to support their mission, there is more information here.