On Veteran’s Day, about 175 people gathered for a run to support homeless veterans with Back On My Feet, an organization that seeks to empower the homeless to “create a new road for themselves.” It was the biggest Boston showing in five years.
Teams made up of volunteers and the homeless run three times a week from different locations around Boston. It helps people get focused, become physically fit and identify themselves as something other than just homeless. The idea is to immerse them into a positive activity that promotes a healthy lifestyle and inspires people to get, well, back on their feet.
“Two weeks into being here I found Back On My Feet,” U.S. veteran Louis Payan-Polanco said. “It catapulted me into not being stuck on just being in bed all the time. It motivated me, and I believe that motivation is what led me to find my own housing, and get my life in order and get out of here and never come back.”
Payan-Polanco isn’t the only success story, about half of the 700 homeless veterans who have participated in the Back On My Feet program have found employment, housing or both.