Posts Tagged homelessness

April showers haven’t stopped these Members from running and improving their lives one step at a time! Their endurance and perseverance is down right inspiring.

jasonsmith Jason Smith, Non-Residential Members, Dallas LIFE
“I love being a part of Back on my Feet for a lot of reasons. The diverse stories across all members is refreshing. The confidence building, hope and determination is motivating. It’s a truly heart touching organization. I’m so proud and grateful to be a Member.”
BOMF(Dallas_Chapter)green Albert, Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
Albert joined the Dallas LIFE Back on My Feet family about a month ago and has been committed ever since!  He has maintained high attendance while participating in the nine month program at Dallas LIFE.  Albert has brought honesty and positivity to the team!
melissawaters Melissa Waters, Non-Residential Member, Salvation Army
“I started running only about four years ago. Once I developed this running habit and ran a race or two, I realized that there are very few things in life that can make you feel more encouraged, positive, and confident than reaching running goals. I feel that being able to run is a gift from God that I never knew was there. Now that I know, I want to share it! I love Back on My Feet because I get to do that very thing. Everyone needs some encouragement at some point in life. BoMF is a great way to encourage others and help them develop the confidence to get back on their feet. And It’s fun!”
BOMF(Dallas_Chapter)green Katherine, Residential Member, Salvation Army
Katherine is going three months strong as a dedicated member of the Salvation Army team! Since day one, Katherine has never missed a single run! She has challenged herself to start running and is making great strides towards accomplishing that goal!  
ginger Ginger Becker, Non-Residential Member, The Bridge
“Many people falling on hard times in their lives lose confidence in their abilities to succeed. And it’s completely understandable. We help people get through these trying times by giving them tools to succeed and providing important social integration through running. It’s through running that a person can learn a lot about themselves. These lessons in building physical and mental endurance, learning to push yourself beyond what you thought is possible, and even proper breathing technique easily translates to every day survival skills in life.”
claudis Claudis, Residential Member, The Bridge
Claudis has been a part of the Back on My Feet family for about a month and has had a smile on his face the entire time!  He brings such a positive spirit to Team bridge!  Claudis has challenged himself and has gone from not being able to run much at all to almost running 2 miles in the past month!  He has shown his commitment through 100% attendance and is the first to volunteer when given the opportunity.  He is an inspiration to many and on his way to his first 5K in the coming months!
jeffkuhn Jeff Kuhn, Non-Residential Member, Veterans Affairs
I love Back on My Feet because I truly believe that taking those first couple of steps to improve oneself is the hardest part to changing. I have truly enjoyed becoming part of the BoMF Family and enjoy my Wednesday’s Runs.”

barry Barry, Residential Member, Veterans Affairs
While Barry has served our country and survived a difficult past, he is looking towards his future! Barry has maintained 95% attendance with the Veterans team and is looking forward to moving out of the facility. Barry is the first to crack a joke, just ask his teammates!

dallas

Back on My Feet staff wanted to share this inspirational story of Tina (name changed) a Residential Member with Team Bridge in Dallas to show the collaborative effort required to assist individuals to self-sufficiency. While running is a huge piece of what we do, much more goes on behind the scenes…

This is her story as told by Dennis Strickland, The Bridge’s Homeless Recovery Manager -

Tina has experienced much in her 24 years before becoming homeless and showing up at The Bridge. She came to us in August of 2011, did intake and was referred to Austin Street Center for shelter. She enrolled in our care management and we started to learn more about her: With an 11th grade education and limited skills, she had resorted to prostitution on the streets.

There was also a history of hospitalizations at Terrell State Hospital. She had a schizoaffective diagnosis, but at the time of her intake she was not receiving treatment; we linked her to LifeNet Clinic at the Bridge.

Tina has come a long way. Following months of care management, and with her behavioral health care intact, Tina was moved to our Transitional Shelter and encouraged to join Back on My Feet (BoMF) for both physical exercise and peer mentoring. She has done well with that program.

Her BoMF case manager reports,

She has gone from being very timid, shy and closed off to one who has been committed, engaged and the first to give her morning hug to our members! I know Tina has been through a lot, and I am so encouraged by her commitment to our team. Her smile gives me hope and I believe she is making strides towards a bright future.

Tina has most recently become job ready, working with the on-site Texas Workforce team. She has just obtained part-time employment, but has aspiration for more. Tina is not home, yet, but we believe she is very close to finding her way home. Our partnership is making it possible for our Guests like Tina to recover from homelessness.

Back on My Feet is honored to be a part of Tina’s recovery!

Let’s get a new year off to a great start! These Members have gone above and beyond the regular M/W/F runs and shown us the spirit of Back on My Feet!

adam Adam Rubin, Non-Residential Members, Dallas LIFE
“I love Back on My Feet because it’s really the perfect way to start off the day. Every morning run with Dallas LIFE is a truly energizing experience – everyone’s so positive and encouraging, it’s infectious. And if someone is having a rough morning, everyone else is there for support. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have met my teammates – they’re such an inspiring group of people. Often times after runs, I wonder if I’ll ever be able to give back as much as I’ve gotten out of this experience. Back on My Feet is a very special organization, and I’m honored to be a small part of it.”
Christopher, Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
Christopher is a great team member! Christopher joined Back on My Feet in November 2012 and has attended every class available. He is currently looking for employment and enjoying leading his team with a positive attitude. Way to go Christopher!
Raul Serrano, Non-Residential Member, Salvation Army
“I like coming out to see the smiling faces and welcoming arms from both Residential and Non-Residential Members alike. Everyone always seems honestly happy to be there and glad I’m there with them. Running is something I would do on my own but it’s better when I’m there.”
vanessa Vanessa, Residential Member, Salvation Army
Vanessa has volunteered on multiple occasions at races where we depended on volunteers. She has attended all of the Financial Literacy classes and loves coming to the monthly computer courses. However, Virginia’s greatest accomplishment to date is gaining new employment in January 2013!
Natalie Avis Natalie Avis, Non-Residential Member, The Bridge
“I love that through Back on My Feet I have the opportunity to meet wonderful people from all kinds of backgrounds and life situations. My teammates are always supportive and full of positive energy, even at 5:45 am! After every run I am encouraged to be a better and healthier person, and I love seeing the accomplishments of Team Bridge, both Residential and Non-Residential Members.”
Theresa, Residential Member, The Bridge
Theresa pushes herself despite a foot injury. Always ready for a hug and consistently smiling, Theresa loves the fact that Back on My Feet has helped her meet new friends!
 bryan Bryan Cathey, Non-Residential Member, Veterans Affairs
“I love to run and I love to help people. A friend told me about Back on My Feet and it seemed like a perfect marriage of the two. I had no idea I would actually look forward to waking up at 4 AM three times a week but I do – and running with the VA team has quickly become a very meaningful part of my life. Back on My Feet is an amazing organization that allows me to give back in some small measure what was so freely given to me during my own personal struggles.”
Mike, Residential Member, Veterans Affairs
While not the loudest Member of the team, Mike reservedly supports his teammates, Back on My Feet and staff. He has offered to go above and beyond the usual Member expectations on numerous occasions. We are very proud of his success and look forward to seeing Mike run towards his goals!

The holidays have us cheering for joy! Joyous cheers for EIGHT members of the month! Congrats guys!

Steve Ward, Non-Residential Members, Dallas LIFE
“I love to run with Back on My Feet because of the opportunity to serve and run with others. I believe in the relationships we develop with the Residential Members and look forward to seeing them every week. The Residential Members help me more than what I can do for them. They are my family and I love them all.”
Adam, Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
Adam, a University of Nebraska alumni, is one of the most kind-hearted Residential Members at Dallas LIFE. He not only leads the pack in running, but will circle back to the walkers to ensure everyone’s safety on morning runs. Thanks for showing us how to be a team member Adam!
Lisa Tran, Non-Residential Member, Salvation Army
“I love Back on My Feet because the organization is a perfect blend of what I feel most passionate about: building a better community by serving others and running! In the past few months of joining the Salvation Army team, I have met amazing people who inspire me to truly live out the Serenity Prayer.”
Mike, Residential Member, Salvation Army
Mike is amazing! He has such a positive attitude. Mike goes out of his way to help Back on My Feet staff and he loves donuts! How couldn’t you love Mike??
Abraham Lagmay, Non-Residential Member, The Bridge
“At first, I was uncertain that I could commit the time to volunteering at Back on My Feet with my own selfish reasons. As time went on, I began to realize how Back on My Feet continues to change the lives of Residential Members, including mine. Seeing someone who was in the depths of despair suddenly has hope for the future is a gift beyond words.  It has been an incredibly rewarding experience for me so far. I am proud to be a part of such an amazing organization.We are one big ‘human’ family!”
Sharon, Residential Member, The Bridge
Sharon has come back from great odds to rejoin her Back on My Feet family at The Bridge. She maintained 100% attendance in November and transitioned to the upstairs living facility. We are very proud of where Sharon is today and the depression she is fighting through walking every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!
Dr. Mike Cunningham, Non-Residential Member, Veterans Affairs
Dr. C, as he is so affectionately called by the Residential Members, has been a constant support of the brand new program at the VA. We are excited to have his support as Dr. C is the supervisor of the entire program. His early morning runs with the team are a huge endorsement of the program within the VA Hospital. Thank you Dr. C!
Raymond, Residential Member, Veterans Affairs
Raymond always pushes himself further and refuses to walk with the team. His determination is contagious and he is an inspiration to his teammates. He has a quirky and fun attitude with his Back on My Feet family. Way to go Raymond!

We are so thankful for these all-star Members this November! We have such a busy month! And next month we will have even more Residential and Non-Residential Members to honor…

John Watson, Non-Residential Members, Dallas LIFE
“I joined Back on My Feet about three months ago because I was looking for volunteer opportunities in Dallas. When I read the description of what Back on My Feet was about, I thought it was simply brilliant. For many years now I have used running as a way to bring myself out of my own difficult situations. When I can’t deal with the stress at work, I go for a run. When I am going through a bad breakup, I go for a run. If I get in a fight with a friend or a family member, I go for a run. By the time I am done, the problem hasn’t disappeared, it is still there waiting for me to face it, but *I* have changed. I have cleared my head and usually have a different perspective on the challenge I am facing.”
Anthony, Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
Wow! Anthony used to be reserved and shy, but now he’s not! Always showing up with a great attitude, Anthony was a no-brainer to honor as Residential Member of the Month for Dallas LIFE. We love ya!
Bill Turner, Non-Residential Member, Salvation Army
“Member accomplishments inspired by Back on My Feet are amazing stories of meeting the challenges of life and they encourage me. Although injury has stopped my running, the community I now feel a part of has inspired me to meet my challenge. As Jennifer mentioned in orientation, I have quickly found that Back on My Feet does as much and more for its Non-Residential Members as it does for Residential Members. I am grateful to be a part of it!”
Jose, Residential Member, Salvation Army
Jose is a walker, but a very motivated walker! He definitely walks with a purpose and is trying to get somewhere! He always has a friendly smile and a welcoming attitude. Thanks for always being a friend Jose!
Adam Cowdin, Non-Residential Member, The Bridge
“I like Back on My Feet because it provides a team atmosphere that allows its members to know that they have a group of people that will hold them accountable and generate friendly rivalries that encourage growth.”
Raymond, Residential Member, The Bridge
Raymond has come a long way since his first days with Back on My Feet. Despite challenges, Raymond has moved forward and into his own apartment! Raymond still joins the team on morning runs even while he is job searching. Great job man! We are very proud of your progress!

Thank you everyone who came out for the 2nd annual Back on My Feet 42K Relay! As always, we are thankful for your support and hope you enjoyed the race!

First leg ready to go!
Below are some more pictures of the runners:

Teams Keep on Runnin’ and The Brothers Thornberry

Great costumes and enthusiasm!
Winners for Best Costumes! The Smurfs! Manchester Residential Member Ed and Non-Residential Member Melissa.
Alumni Rob and James having a good time! We were so glad they made it out.
One of the most enthusiastic teams of the day… these ladies did push ups when the crossed the finish line of their last lap!

A big thanks to ALL of our volunteers from AT&T – there were 33 AT&T pioneers out supporting us for morning set up, registration, the water stop and working the course! We couldn’t have done it without them!

Congratulations to all who ran! Below are the rankings for the top three teams in each division!

All Race Results

A BIG CONGRATS to our Solo Runner  – Jack Gackenheimer, who ran a 3:29:48!

4-Person Male 4-Person Female 4-Person Coed
The Honey Badger Project Multifit Girls Chick Boys DAMG
Multi Fit 1 BABs Carmel Runners Club
Turtle Power Perfect Strangers High Performance. Delivered.
2-Person Male 2-Person Female 2-Person Coed
The Brothers Thornberry Purple Sea Urchins Two and Half Runners
Keep on Runnin Free2Run Team We’re NOT Old
Two for the Road Going Goofy again in 2013! I’m Ron Burgundy?

We also said a very special goodbye to Alumnus Member Mike. Mike ran with team Warman and after many great milestones is moving back home to Washington D.C. – we are so thankful and excited there is a Back on My Feet chapter in D.C., our friends over there are awfully lucky to get to have Mike in their lives.

Mike’s last lap of his last run with Back on My Feet Indy. (13.1 Miles!) Executive Director, Jamie and Program Director Brian right behind Mike, cheering him in!

We are all going to miss you so much Mike!

Back on My Feet Staff with Planet Adventure Staff. We had a great time working with our PA friends!

Thanks everyone for a great time! We are already looking forward to next year. All proceeds from this race directly benefit the Indianapolis Chapter of Back on My Feet, helping Members of our community overcoming homelessness move toward self-sufficiency.

Check on more pictures on our facebook page!

Thank you to all of our sponsors, including Title Sponsor:

OrthoIndy, Baldwin & Lyons, DOZ, Monarch Beverage, Endurance IT, Accenture, BlueMile, Carmel Marathon and Monumental Marathon

Wow! Has it been a year since we last recognized our September Members of the Month?! It’s been too long, so let’s get down to it…

Kurt and Teresa Pennington, Non-Residential Members, Dallas LIFE
“We have been involved with Back on My Feet since May of 2011, and waking each Friday morning to run with our Dallas Life family has been nothing short of wonderful. Each week is filled with warm hugs, encouraging cheers, and open minds- an experience that truly blesses our newly-married life. We look forward to making more memories with Back on My Feet, and our Dallas Life family!”
Ricky, Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
Ricky no longer lives at the Dallas LIFE facility but continues to run with Back on My Feet. Ricky has maintained 90% attendance for the morning runs and more importantly maintains a great attitude! He is working on his resume and hopes to begin interviewing for a job very soon! Keep up the hard work Ricky!
Evie McGerr, Non-Residential Member, Salvation Army
“I’ve grown through this and am so encouraged through this experience. These great people are championing change and making a difference in their own lives. What a privileged to try and keep up with them!”
Regina, Residential Member, Salvation Army
Regina has 100% attendance!!! She brings a “can do” attitude to her team at the Salvation Army. Regina even showed up to a run the day after a root canal just to walk and show her commitment to the team. Thank you Regina for being such a dedicated and driven team member!
Rick Wilson, Non-Residential Member, The Bridge
“I think that Back on My Feet does a great job of teaching and blending both running and critical life-skill disciplines.  Since I work part-time in the fitness industry, the fact that Back on My Feet uses physical fitness as a foundation to helping others improve their lives in a huge way is really awesome! I decided to volunteer because of the people.  We’re like a big, loving family – growing, supporting and helping each other with every step.”
Gabrielle, Residential Member, The Bridge
Gabrielle has maintained 100%!!! We are so proud of her diligence and determination. Gabrielle is creating positive habits quickly and is helping to model a healthy lifestyle for those around her! Keep up the hard work Gabrielle, you can do it girl!

BoMF DC decided to mix things up on the morning of May 23, 2012 with a little less running and a lot more…yoga. Blair House and Emery House both participated in a morning yoga session led by Blair’s very own non-res Alyson S. at the Yoga District. It was a big hit with 23 res, non-res, and staff in attendance. There were a variety of different experience levels present but Alyson did a great job keeping everyone engaged. “It was good for beginners but also challenging enough for those that have done it before.” It left members saying they “would love to do it again!” And, again, they came in June. Just another way to mix things up and help with the overall health/wellness of BoMF members!

Back on My Feet DC was very excited to participate for the first time in the North Face Endurance Challenge!  Not only was this the chapter’s first time competing in this particular race, it was also the first trail race for many BoMF members, res and non-res alike.

On Friday, June 1, BoMF alumnus Walter B. spoke at a panel event at the North Face store in Georgetown, telling his own story in the program and representing Back on My Feet.

The following morning began a weekend of great racing and running! Chris H. and Walter B., Emery House alumni, started the weekend off at 5am with impressive showings of 50 miles each.  Emery House then distinguished themselves again by entering the Marathon Relay. Res members Edward P. and James S. collaborated with non-res members Michael G. and Erin D. to complete the 26.2 mile course.

Sunday’s accomplishments include Half Marathons by alumni Tyrone D. and David W.; 10k’s by Jeff M. (Blair House), David G. (Emery House), Hermon B., Orlando H., Michael J., George J – (CSS); and 5k’s by Porkchop W. (Blair), Donald, Clarence, Arnita, Arnold, Larry (CSS), Steve (La Casa), LaJuana, Sharon & Mary Virginia (NSV). Great job everyone!

BoMF DC poses for a pre-race picture.

The weekend was characterized by its relaxed atmosphere and sunny weather. Back on My Feet DC looks forward to more races with The North Face!

BoMF DC wants to give The North Face a huge thank you for allowing us to participate, and for their support- The North Face donated entries for new members as well as trail running shoes!!

Lydia Ghattas, Non-Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
“Back on My Feet has changed my perspective on life.  I love the friends, and now family, I’ve met through running in the mornings and races throughout the month.  At 5:45 AM everyone stands in the huddle the same.  Everyone has a unique story and the more I spend time with them the more I want to know and share my story.  Spending time with BoMF lets you be a small part of something greater going on across the country.  I recently ran with one of the Atlanta teams and was received with a warm welcome and of course, hugs!”
Channing, Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
Channing began running with his Dallas LIFE teammates in March 2012. Channing has maintained 90% attendance and is looking forward to completing the Next Steps portion of the Back on My Feet program. Channing was the first Member to cross the finish line at the Jog with the Frog 5K on March 31st. Way to go Channing! Keep up the hard work!
Bianca Hernandez, Non-Residential Member, Salvation Army
“When I joined Back on My Feet, I figured it would be a good way to log a few extra miles. I planned on going one day a week, but that changed quickly! I had no idea what a big part of my life it would become! Even though getting up before dawn is tough, I can’t imagine life without my teammates at the Salvation Army. Whether it’s a PR or a new job, watching them achieve their goals is inspiring, and I am proud to be a small part of such a great organization.”
Greg S., Residential Member, Salvation Army
Greg, a United States Marine Corps veteran, found himself at the Salvation Army facility after losing his job with Dallas I.S.D. Having worked as a crossing guard, Greg entered the grand per diem program for veterans and joined Back on My Feet in August 2011. Greg completed his first half marathon on March 25th and is currently applying for positions with Marriott. Run Greg Run!
Rosalyn Davis, Non-Residential Member, The Bridge
“When I joined Back on My Feet, I was not a morning person, nor was I a recreational runner. Back on My Feet has transformed me into a runner. Admittedly, the morning part still needs a bit of work. I love being greeted with genuine smiles and meaningful hugs, in the mornings. It makes the sacrifice of sleep worth it. I love witnessing the dedication, victories, and accomplishments of our Residential members. It’s inspiring.”
Montania, Residential Member, The Bridge
Montania is a valued member of Team Bridge and has been running with Back on My Feet since December 2011. He has competed in numerous local 5Ks and looks forward to applying for positions with our job partners having maintained 90% attendance. Keep running Montania!