Katy Sherratt recognizes that it is reasonable to ask “Running and homelessness? How does that work?” At the same time, she notes how runners all immediately recognize the possibilities of the idea. Sherratt is the CEO of Back on My Feet, an NGO that helps homeless people get back on their feet by running. The program begins with running, but also involves community support, as well as employment and housing resources. Homeless individuals who decide to become members are given sneakers and put through a three-day-a-week running program. If they commit and stay consistent with their routine, members receive access to further resources.
Running instills individuals with discipline and confidence, and the organization provides members with the internal, and external, resources necessary to dash forward in their lives. Sherratt notes how members suffering from addiction and veterans are particularly receptive to the program. The endorphins produced through the act of running helps provide addicts with a plausible counterpoint in their lives. Veterans often suffer from the absence of structure and exertion that they had grown accustomed to during their service, and the three-day-a-week schedule of Back on My Feet provides them with new purpose. It is not only the health benefits of running that members benefit from, Sherratt goes on, but also the community of the organization that provides support and encouragement to members who may have never received enough positive attention to overcome the desperation of their lives.
Katy Sherratt transitioned into the non-profit world from a corporate background. She explains that the realization of how much of an impact her experience could have inspired her to make the change. Further expansion plans include ideas to license the organization to individual entities that have expressed interest in bringing the organization to ten-to-twenty other cities, as well as discussions to expand the organization beyond the US. Back on My Feet is financed by its corporate board and individual donors, and Sherratt tells of how there are plans to open additional revenue strains through discussions with professional runners. Other ambitions include plans to turn towards youth populations, where Back on My Feet hopes help to stage interventions earlier in the cycle of homelessness.
18:10 | 2016