DENVER (CBS4) – A nonprofit group called ‘Back on My Feet’ is working to combat homelessness through running and community. The organization is launching its newest chapter in Denver this week.
Back on My Feet is a national nonprofit found in 13 cities across the nation. Its mission is to help people who are struggling with homelessness by training them to run.
“Bringing people out to the running part of the program helps build self-confidence, to restore dignity, helps them to feel better about themselves which enables them forward in other aspects of their lives,” explained Katy Sherratt, CEO of Back on My Feet.
Sherratt said the program has strict accountability. Those participating must have 90% attendance at three early-morning runs a week, for at least 30 days.
“That gives them access to the other resource opportunities such as employment opportunities like placement and training,” she said. “We also offer financial aid programs like first month rent or security deposits to remove that barrier while folks try to move towards self-sufficiency.”
Forrest Graeber is part of the Denver Rescue Mission’s New Life Program and will be running in the Back on My Feet’s inaugural run. He told CBS4 he struggled with addiction, and found help through the Denver Rescue Mission.
“I chose to come here to take care of my life and get back on track,” he said.
Back on My Feet works with the New Life Program participants by encouraging those in the shelters to take part in the running program. For Graeber, what caught his eye was the chance to become healthy again.
“I went through a lot of struggle, and I had a lot of challenging moments in my life and now I’m in a place of being able to be still,” he said. “I can process everything and look at my future. It’s really exciting to look at.“
Graeber will be taking part in the chapter’s first inaugural race in Denver. He said the program has provided him with a sense of community, because he runs with others in the program as well as volunteers who work to keep them on track.
The first race to commemorate the chapter’s grand opening will take place Friday morning at the Denver Rescue Mission’s transitional location The Crossing.