So often we think of the man or woman standing on the side of a road with a cardboard sign when we think of homelessness. Some misperceptions may be that those experiencing homelessness are lazy, entitled, destructive or aggressive. But this North Texas Giving Day, Back on My Feet aims to strike out those false labels and replace them with truths. In reality, our friends at the homeless shelters of Dallas are just like me and you.
Back on My Feet empowers the homeless of Dallas through running, life-skills and community support. Our program instills confidence, motivation and self-esteem in our participants by running Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings with four participating shelters – Dallas LIFE, The Bridge, Salvation Army and the VA Hospital.
Homelessness can be something we all experience at any given point in our lives. And at any stage of life, things can fall apart. I have made long-lasting friendships with participants of the Back on My Feet program who came to homelessness by a traumatic experience that I have also personally endured– including a loss of a loved one. But the participants of the Back on My Feet program don’t always have the emotional or financial support that I was granted. It’s quite the eye opener, to realize… I could be here in the shelter and needing the same encouragement. And that’s why I want to strike out the perceptions of homelessness. It could have been me.
Our program works with single mothers that need a support system. We work with veterans that served our country and are regaining confidence before entering the workplace. And we work with college-educated individuals that have suffered from job loss.
Ranging in age from 18 – 74, our program participants have never fit the stereotype of homelessness because they are hardworking, passionate and dedicated to overcoming obstacles. They are positive and contributing members of our community, taking each step towards striking out a label placed on them and replacing it with runner, friend and independent. Please join us on September 17th in assisting them by donating to Back on My Feet.