Back on My Feet Philadelphia is a group that works to empower the homeless through running.
The group, comprised of former and current homeless participants, meets three days a week for an early morning run.
They meet at 5:30 a.m. and are joined by supportive community members. Participating in the group teaches members discipline and helps them gain motivation.
Marquis, a homeless runner, says that participating helped him regain confidence in himself.
“I learned that if I set out to do something, I can do it—if I can get up at 4:30 in the morning and run at 5 three days a week,” Marquis explained.
Another homeless runner, Clarence, feels inspired by the group as well. “It's a good challenge,” he says. “Get your day started, be around positive people. You don't have no negativity after that.”
Back on My Feet also offers additional help for homeless people, like networking, job training, and housing. The group has helped Clarence and Marquis find jobs, and Marquis is now in school as well.
Despite their personal growth, runners like Marquis and Clarence still join the group at 5:30 a.m. to cheer on others.