Since 2012 I have been an ardent supporter of Back on My Feet (BOMF) Baltimore. It is an organization that seeks to build up those experiencing homelessness, and often times unemployment, addiction, and/or mental health issues as well, through running.
In light of all that has happened in Baltimore these last few days, an organization such as BOMF is even more vital to the well-being of our city. Those who BOMF helps could easily be defined by what is being seen on the national media – and many have been in the past – but they have chosen to take the steps to improve their lives and build a community.
No, this is not a claim that running alone is the solution to the systemic, deep rooted and overarching issues that plague our city. But the community that is formed in coming together, the impact that is created in speaking with one unified voice, and the change that we can affect in ‘changing the things we can’ is vital to our effort to rebuild, redefine and rejuvenate this place we call home.
As I prepare for my first marathon, Baltimore faces a marathon of another variety entirely. I may not be able to solve Baltimore’s problems, but I can certainly do my part in helping those Baltimore residents who have chosen to take on their own personal and socioeconomic challenges head-first. A cultural shift won’t happen over night, but affecting one person, who has the opportunity to affect another, starts moving us all in the right direction.