That morning, Back on My Feet Residential Members (individuals experiencing homelessness) will begin their journey with Back on My Feet by participating in a one-mile inaugural run that begins in Central Park and ends in the heart of New York City's Times Square. The inaugural run will be followed by Back on My Feet's traditional "business attire with sneakers" Launch Breakfast, presented by Accenture and NYC Marriott and Renaissance Hotels, at the New York Marriott Marquis. More than 40 corporate sponsors and 800 people are expected to be at the breakfast, which will serve as a platform to celebrate the official launch of the New York City chapter as well as honor some of New York City's most supportive individuals and corporations who have played a crucial role in bringing the national organization to the city.
Among those being honored at the launch breakfast are Chief Executive Officer of NASDAQ OMX, Robert Greifeld, and President and CEO of New York Road Runners, Mary Wittenberg. Corporate Sponsors include: Accenture, NYC Marriott and Renaissance Hotels, AT&T, Bimbo Bakeries, Brooks Running, Clear Channel, New York Road Runners, TD Bank, Wells Fargo and NASDAQ OMX.
"Back on My Feet is thrilled to open its ninth chapter in New York City, where the community is working hard to support those who, given the chance, can run with greater hope towards an independent life," said Anne Mahlum, Founder and CEO of Back on My Feet, and Executive Director of Back on My Feet New York City."We feel privileged to have the opportunity to bring Back on My Feet's much needed program and services to the city of New York and are grateful for the community and corporate support."
New York City is the ninth chapter that Back on My Feet has launched since its inception in 2007 and joins successful chapters currently operating in Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Indianapolis, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. The Back on My Feet program has had great success nationwide and from September 2008 to 2011:
An 85% increase in Members obtaining jobs from 2010 to 2011;
A 121% increase in Members obtaining housing from 2010 to2011;
And, a 79% increase in Members enrolling in education and training from 2010 to 2011.
"We are glad to support an organization that gives those in less-fortunate situations the opportunity to move their life forward in a way that is meaningful and sustainable," said Robert Greifeld, CEO of NASDAQ OMX and Co-Chair of the Back on My Feet NYC Launch Breakfast.
"New York Road Runners celebrates the power of running and how it can transform an individual's life. Back on My Feet's mission made immediate sense to us and we are proud to support the organization in its expansion to New York City," said Ms. Wittenberg.
Back on My Feet partners with facilities not to create runners within the homeless population, but to create self-sufficiency in the lives of those experiencing homelessness by using running as a vehicle. The success of the comprehensive four- to six-month program is measured by how many Members achieve independence through employment and housing. Teams are formed at these partner facilities, where the foundation of Back on My Feet is laid through dedication to running. All teams, including volunteers, run three mornings each week, with longer, optional runs on Saturdays. Additionally, Members attend monthly social events and local races. Attendance, mileage and attitude are tracked on every run. After 30 days in the program, each Residential Member who maintains 90 percent attendance at the morning runs moves to Back on My Feet's "Next Steps" phase.
In Next Steps, Residential Members meet with Back on My Feet Program staff to assess their current situation and develop a road map for an independent lifestyle. Members have access to educational and job training opportunities, and through dedication to the program, earn financial aid to help them move toward employment and permanent housing. Members can use financial aid to address barriers to self-sufficiency including outstanding fines, tools for a job, transportation, education, certifications and security deposits. On average, 75 percent of Members are in the Next Steps phase of the program -a true testament to the efficacy and sustainability of the program.
Back on My Feet New York City will initially work with five facility partners: The Bowery Mission, Project Renewal, Common Ground, Camba and The Fortune Society.
About Back on My Feet
Back on My Feet (BoMF), which launched in Philadelphia in 2007, is a national nonprofit organization that is dedicated to creating independence and self-sufficiency within the homeless and other underserved populations by first engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem. The organization has chapters in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago, Indianapolis, Dallas-Ft. Worth and Atlanta with New York City launching April 10, 2012. The organization has received media support, including attention from NBC Nightly News, ABC World News, CNN and The Today Show for its ingenuity in tackling this difficult social issue. More information can be found at backonmyfeet.org.