Founded by Anne Mahlum in 2007, Back on My Feet (BoMF) is a national for-purpose 501c3 organization that uses running to help those experiencing homelessness change the way they see themselves so they can make real change that results in employment and independent living.
BoMF does not provide food nor does it provide shelter, but instead provides a community that embraces equality, respect, discipline, teamwork and leadership. All members – regardless of race, education or socioeconomic status – join together to move their own lives forward as well as the lives of their teammates. BoMF has operations in Philadelphia, Baltimore, DC, Baltimore, DC, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Indianapolis, Atlanta, New York, Austin and will launch in Los Angeles in October 2013.
BoMF is a 6-9 month program that works with individuals living in homeless facilities. Members run three days a week at 5:30 in the morning from 50+ locations throghout 10 different cities. After 30 days in our program, each member who maintains 90% attendance moves to the Next Steps phase. Next Steps enables members to move towards self-sufficiency through educational and job training opportunities and one-on-one coaching adn mentoring from staff. Additionally, each member has the opportunity to earn $2,500 in financial aid to assist in their efforts toward self-sufficiency. Our goal is move our members from a state of dependency into a state of independence, which includes a job and a stable living environment.
Anne’s relationship with running began when she was 16 as it was her way of dealing with the unexpected situation of her dad’s struggle with a gambling addiction, which tore apart her family. While Anne could never find a way to help her dad, she found her own answers in the life lessons that surround running, such as taking things one step at a time and learning the value of being on difficult roads. 10 years later, Anne’s running had led her past a homeless shelter on 12th and Vine in Philadelphia where she began to develop a friendly, sarcastic rapport with some of the individuals staying there, who reminded her of her dad. During one morning run she realized that running could benefit them in the same way that it helped her and she felt in some way she could vicariously help her father by helping them. The organization had its first official run on July 3rd, 2007 and in six years has grown to a $6.5 million nonprofit wtih 48 full-time staff that has helped thousands of people and has a 46 percent success rate.
Anne is not only the founder of BoMF, but she is also the former CEO. She is responsible for the vision, strategy and national fundraising efforts for Back on My Feet as it continues to expand across the country. In spring of 2013, Anne announced PIVOT, BoMF's first social enterprise intiative that is helping individuals experiencing homelessness repurpose their lives by repurposing furniture.