Homeless and longterm unemployed men and women over 18.
Running requires goal-setting, commitment, hard work, perseverance, and a positive attitude. Developing these skills through a program can lead to access, via On My Feet, to training, employment opportunities and a better quality of life. Most importantly, it aims to break the cycle of welfare dependency, develops a strong sense of community, and self-worth as well as improving physical and mental well being.
Foot Step 1: Self Worth Plan
Community members are provided with running gear (t-shirt, shorts, socks, shoes). In return, they are asked to run with the community every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Members will redefine how they see themselves and will emerge with greater confidence, self-esteem and a positive outlook on life. All of us, regardless of gender, race, age or social background have a desire to feel important. That feeling of importance is severely damaged when faced with discrimination, long term unemployment, and homelessness which, in turn, makes a meaningful change incredibly challenging. This impacts the individual, their immediate and extended family, and the community within which they live. We can use running to address this impact.
We aim to create a running community that sets goals which overcomes challenges individually and collectively through dedication, commitment, friendship, and team work and, in the process, develops self-worth for members through a Self-Worth Plan. In addition to signing a Commitment Contract and a Personal Goals Statement, all Community Members will have a target event (from 5km up to full marathon) that they will work towards with entry funded by the program or through partnerships with a running events. Attendance, distance, and attitude will be monitored on every run. One month and 90% attendance is required to successfully complete Foot Step 1.
Foot Step 2: Independence Plan
The program aims, through community and corporate support, to provide meaningful opportunities to those in need.
Once members successfully take Foot Step 1, we build an Independence Plan for them that will involve developing skills, through training and education, which will enable them to go for interviews and seek employment opportunities with selected On My Feet partners.
Limited financial assistance may be provided to selected members to help them overcome barriers to independence – for example transport, education, tools for a job, rental bonds.
Short term goal setting and positive reinforcement of good behaviours
How are we achieving this?
Participants are awarded a new t- shirt with an On My Feet shoe colour representative of their cumulative running success.This accomplishment will be something to be proud of.
They are also encouraged to set goals to participate in local running club events. In Western Australia, the WAMC have kindly agreed to provide free entry to their events for our participants. In Melbourne, Hobson’s Running Club allow our members with free access to their runs.