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Running Club With Boston’s Homeless Gets Ready For Marathon

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(credit: AP)

(credit: AP)

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BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Marathon is two weeks away and among the many first-timers running this year will be the 15 men and women representing “Back On My Feet.” It’s an organization with a unique approach to helping the homeless.

“Back On My Feet” is made up of volunteers working with residents from local shelters, helping the homeless re-start their lives.

The program helps them train for jobs and find homes, and the early morning runs are a big part of the program.

“I personally think running has great benefits for your mental health and your overall well being,” said Matthew Kennis, who volunteers for “Back On My Feet.”

WBZ-TV’s Lisa Hughes reports.

Mike Adams, who is a resident at St. Francis House, adds, “Not only do we run, but we have to talk when we run — how you’re doing, how’s things going in your life.”

Members of the group say they they’re happy to be part of a group.

Steve Karagiozis is one of them. He has struggled with alcohol and drug problems and lives at the Boston Rescue Mission. He says “Back On My Feet” has helped keep him sane and sober.

But everyone involved admits that the idea of a 5 a.m., three mornings a week, wasn’t an easy sell.

Team members say it’s “brutal,” and can be cold, dark and windy. And it’s tough getting up at all. But they all get each other through it.

“It’s given me perspective on my life,” said “Back On My Feet” member Jon Bordeau. “It’s gotten me in better shape. I’ve interacted with people I wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s been a privilege.”

Some of the group’s leaders say they’ve seen members go on and get jobs, and housing, and be successful. They like to believe some of the motivation comes from running. They want to be a better person and try harder.

“Back On My Feet” began in Philadelphia, and expanded to Boston last year. The group’s working with about 50 people at six Boston shelters.

For more information, log on to www.BackOnMyFeet.org

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