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← How Running Is Helping the Homeless Get Back on Their Feet

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Showing Revision 7 created 05/29/2019 by Alexandre Clemente.

  1. I was a drug dealer,
    and I got incarcerated.

  2. When I came out,
    I was like
  3. there's no way I'm gonna get
    a second chance or get a job.
  4. I'm trying to achieve and running
    is part of my way of getting there.
  5. This Great Big
    Story was made possible by
  6. Dignity Health.
    Hello, humankindness.
  7. My name is Manuel Navarro,
    and I am a runner with Back On My Feet.
  8. Back On My Feet is an organization
    that helps people fight homelessness;
  9. and at this point in my life,
  10. the lowest point in my life,
    that's where I'm at;
  11. and it's helping me
    be successful
  12. and achieve everything
    I wanna achieve the right way.
  13. My name is Pete Roller,
    and I'm a volunteer
  14. and board member
    with Back On My Feet.
  15. Manny and I have been running
    together for nine months.
  16. We run three mornings
    a week at 5:45 in the morning.
  17. Back On My Feet is a national non-profit
    that works with individuals
  18. who are experiencing homelessness
    or in some stage of recovery
  19. and provides a hand up
    to employment and housing
  20. and independence through
    community and fitness.
  21. Running is a really nice complement
  22. to recovery for many of our members.
  23. Running, in particular,
    provides the physical release.
  24. For a lot of us, we're
    replacing negativity.
  25. Those three mornings a
    week are the three mornings
  26. where they know they can
    come and be supported
  27. by the rest of the group
    and really feel good
  28. about themselves because
    whatever comes in between that
  29. is gonna be much harder;
    and Back On My Feet provides
  30. the link for them to successfully
    continue that recovery.
  31. I know it works because the changes
  32. in the individuals,
    members, volunteers, myself
  33. are visible, and they're tangible.
  34. For our members, it allows
    them to feel human again,
  35. and I've seen countless
    members just blossom.
  36. When they come to the morning circle,
  37. they're just another runner.
  38. Who are we?
  39. Back On My Feet.
  40. Where we from?
  41. San Francisco.
  42. How far we gonna run?
  43. Forever.
  44. I hated running, but now I love running.
  45. I mean, just the community;
  46. they make you feel very welcome.
  47. They're really there to help you,
  48. to embrace you and to support the fact that
    you're trying to be successful in life
  49. and trying to do something right.
  50. And the connection that me
    and Pete have is amazing.
  51. I never had real friends before.
  52. In the drug business
    you don't trust anybody,
  53. and here I am trusting.
  54. He's always telling me
    how I could do better
  55. and pushing me to do
    better and that's good
  56. because he's there to support me,
  57. and I think we all
    deserve a second chance,
  58. and I'm taking it.