Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Back on My Feet

May 21 2009
The Philadelphia running club‘s homeless members have lost weight, quit smoking and become more energetic The marathon has come and gone for this year, but London could still see people in training, if the capital follows a lead from a US scheme. The Back on My Feet running club in Philadelphia is still inspiring the local rough sleeping community almost a year after it was first launched in July 2007. The club is now home to several teams of runners, including 54 rough sleepers and 250 volunteers from three of Philadelphia's shelters. All members are equipped with new running shoes and clothes before starting their weekly running sessions. A portion of the group have lost weight, quit smoking and become more energetic since joining the club, and every member has been drink- and drug-free for at least 30 days. Back on My Feet also offers training schemes, where members can develop their computer skills or interview technique. Several members are taking classes, and some have got jobs through the programmes. Ann Mahlum, founder of Back on My Feet and a marathon runner, aims to establish Back on My Feet in 10 of Philadelphia's shelters by the end of this year. She also plans to start up clubs in other regions in 2009. Ms Mahlum said: "Running is really a metaphor in life - there is always another mile, you just have to take one step at a time". The club has already covered more than 5,000 miles.