Back on My Feet in the City of Brotherly Love

Changing Lives One Mile, Job and House at a Time

“Back on My Feet (BoMF) is a national for-purpose organization that uses running to help those experiencing homelessness change the way they see themselves so they can make real change in their lives that results in employment and independent living.

The organization’s mission is not to create runners within the homeless population, but to use running to create self-sufficiency in the lives of those experiencing homelessness. The program’s success is measured by how many Members obtain independence through employment, job training and housing.

Through dedication and hard work, Residential Members (those experiencing homelessness) earn the opportunity to create a new road for themselves. Running leads to personal transformation and dedication to the program leads to access to training, employment and housing resources. Through community and corporate support, the program strives to change the perception of homelessness.”

And it all started back in 2007 in my beloved city


“Anne Mahlum, was 26 years old and living in Philadelphia, she was at a crossroads in her life. For the past several months, the idea of her purpose had been all consuming – she was willing to do anything to find it, she just didn’t know where to look. Soon she realized it was right beneath her feet.

Running was Anne’s staple.  She became a runner when she was 16 to get through a turbulent time for her family due to her dad’s gambling addiction. Anne found clarity and strength in the movement of running.  It helped her to understand that you must take things one step at a time. It also helped Anne to realize that difficult roads lead to difficult choices – you either persevere, or turn around and make excuses. Running helped Anne discover who she was and what she loved about herself. Ten years later, in May of 2007 at 5:30 a.m. on the streets of Philadelphia, Anne began to form a relationship with several men outside of Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission.”

“This is when she realized that she could help these people if she stopped running by them and started running with them.”


“The theoretical question that Anne asked herself was, “if we can change the way people see themselves, can we change the direction of their lives?” She felt very strongly that if we could help people experiencing homelessness see themselves as deserving, capable, hardworking, responsible, disciplined, focused and reliable, it would be possible for them to move toward independence. This question is no longer a theory – it is a reality.”

To learn about chapters around the country click here and to learn specifically about the Philadelphia chapter click here.

THIS WEEKEND: Registration is now open for Back on My Feet’s signature event, The Stroehmann Back on My Feet in24 Philadelphia Race Challenge! in24 Philadelphia will take place July 18th & 19th and offers four races to choose from: Urban Ultra, Relay Challenge, Midnight Madness and Justice for All 5K.


“Optimism is the foundation of courage.”

-Nicholas Murray Butler


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