The On My Feet Footsteps Program is an Australian-leading 6 month course that aims to transition chosen participants who are experiencing homelessness from Shelter to Self-Sufficiency.
On My Feet’s flagship program and was launched in May 2019 in Perth, Western Australia. The program creates pathways to self-sufficiency through improved physical and mental wellbeing, employability and education opportunities.
The Footsteps Program is an incredible opportunity for chosen participants to get back on their feet and achieve their goals.
What we’re hoping to do here, with a more intensive, highly-structured, outcomes-based program with clearly defined goals and a graduation date, is create an opportunity for an individual to go from shelter to become self-sufficient in a short period of time.
Keegan Crage, Chairman and Founder
Each week, participants undertake educational workshops which aim to provide them with the necessary tools to improve their physical and mental wellbeing, employability and ability to contribute to society and, ultimately, to become self-sufficient.
Parallel to the weekly workshops, participants join On My Feet to train at least once a week to improve their physical fitness, wellbeing and self-belief. At the start of the program, each participant is required to nominates an indicative goal distance to run; either 10km, Half Marathon or Full Marathon.
These goals can sometimes appear miles from their current ability and focus – but through structured programs, supportive coaching and the right training aids, we help to facilitate the fulfillment of each participant’s fitness goal.
In October 2019, the Perth cohort will fly to Melbourne to compete in the Melbourne Running Festival.
By getting people who hardly ever run to train as athletes and compete in such an incredible event such as the Melbourne Marathon… it really helps to fast track the thought that ‘maybe I am worth all this’ and ‘maybe I can achieve whatever I set my mind on
Ayden Doohan, Executive Director
To assist participants with their training, each receive the following upon acceptance into the program:
- A brand new pair of ASICS or Mizuno running shoes
- A Garmin GPS tracking sports watch
- An On My Feet running uniform
- Access to Physio’s and GPs
- Training aids including foam rollers, skipping ropes, resistance bands and various sport balls.
Candidates for the program are nominated by local housing shelters, community organisations and personal referrals based on the following critical characteristics:
- Willingness to get back their life on track
- Positive attitude and respect for their community
- Preparedness to commit to a life changing 6 month program and take on board the learnings and opportunities.
Each candidate is interviewed by a selection panel before a maximum of 10 participants are ultimately chosen.
The program involves three key focuses:
1. Personal wellbeing
The first month of the program focuses on educating participants on key wellbeing principles and introduces them to support services and industry professionals who are available to them throughout the entire program. Weekly workshops are held on:
- Health and fitness assessments
- Exercise preparation and recovery
- Cooking classes
2. Personal development
The most significant component of the program is providing participants with the tools and learnings to develop as people in all aspects of life. To achieve this, the program involves weekly workshops focussing on:
- Goal setting
- Communication skills
- Conflict resolution
- Strengths and interest identification
- Building self-worth and self-belief
- Mental health
- Work readiness
- Work experience
- Team building
- Leadership & role modelling
3. Physical training
Physical wellbeing not only impacts our mental health, but encourages healthier lifestyle choices and our self-confidence. Each participant is provided an individualised training program with weekly exercise sessions held at a local training park. Participants nominate a goal distance to run at a nominated running event at the end of the program. The 2019 Perth participants will travel to Melbourne in October to compete in the 10km, half and full marathon at the Melbourne Running Festival.
At the start of the program, each participant is provided a brand new pair of running shoes, an On My Feet uniform pack, a GPS tracking watch and an exercise journal to track and inspire progress.
Following completion of the program, each participant is encouraged to see themselves as role models in their own communities, sharing their experiences of overcoming adversity and embodying the benefits of the program. The Footsteps Program is designed to make a meaningful difference in not only the lives of those chosen to participate, but in the broader homeless community through the activation of leaders.