"Moving The Homeless Forward One Step At A Time"
December 21, 2007 1:34 PM   Subscribe

"When we're running, you can't tell. When people look at us, they don't point and go, 'Yeah, he's homeless, she's not, she's educated.'" Mahlum explained, "You look and say, 'Oh, look at the runners.' That's a positive association, because there's no separation."

Back on My Feet is a Philadelphia non-profit organization that encourages homeless men to take up the sport of running- providing them with gear, training partners, motivation, and, ultimately, hopefulness and attainable goals.
Dan Rubin of The Philadelphia Enquirer wrote about joining them for a Halloween run. There's also a short news clip about the group on the NBC website as well.
posted by stagewhisper (8 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Hopefully they're provided with showers too.
posted by SBMike at 1:37 PM on December 21, 2007

This is incredibly awesome - thanks for posting this. What a fantastic idea!
posted by Baby_Balrog at 1:39 PM on December 21, 2007

Runners often have perhaps an over-inflated notion of all the good things that can accrue from running, and though what they are here doing is great and generous and giving, sometimes economic problems and needs are not so readily taken care of. This is a good start, a useful beginning etc but does it get to the root of economic disparities, lousy minimum wage level, health coverage so many unable to afford, growing costs for college education and so forth. I don't belittle what is here being done. Just wondering what else might be done by our busy busy government.
posted by Postroad at 1:59 PM on December 21, 2007

I'd imagine they know that running shoes and a partner will not solve all the problems these people face...

Nice post stagewhisper, thanks.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 2:09 PM on December 21, 2007

Thanks, Postroad, that's just great. My eyes just rolled out of my head.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:13 PM on December 21, 2007

very cool.
posted by msconduct at 6:25 PM on December 21, 2007

Well of course there's more that could be done for the homeless.

But it wouldn't surprise me to find that this is the best possible thing this particular woman can do for these particular homeless people. She's giving what she has to give. How on Earth could you find anything wrong with that?
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:16 PM on December 21, 2007

For some reason, this reminds me of a rule that applies in a particular pro-am racing series I belonged to for a bit: aside from the usual technical and safety inspection requirements, the guideline for how well you had to keep up your car was called the 50/50 rule: it had to look undamaged from 50 yards away when traveling 50 miles an hour.

But hey, this is good; I know people who have good lives with loving families, a nice house and a great job, and they still get their biggest sense of accomplishment from finishing a short marathon. If I were homeless, yes I'd want food and shelter and all that, but I have to imagine being able to step out of being homeless and into a group of people who don't know I'm homeless and treat me as an equal as we accomplish something personally satisfying...well, it would probably give me a reason to feel like living.
posted by davejay at 11:22 PM on December 21, 2007

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