Meet Carole 

“Back on My Feet helped me with discipline, responsibility, and confidence. Running with the team helps me feel so much better about myself and led to a full-time job at Accenture!” -- Carole

If you had asked her a few years ago, Carole Dowdy would have never imagined that in the spring of 2015, she would be checking herself into a local Salvation Army homeless shelter in Austin, Texas. After the death of her father and a series of unexpected events, Carole was left with little to nothing to call her own – not even a pair of shoes. When Carole heard there was a program she could join that would provide her with a pair of sneakers, she immediately signed up. What started as a free pair of shoes quickly evolved into the community of support that would help her get back on her feet.

Joining the Back on My Feet program was Carole’s first step in living a healthier lifestyle, quitting a life-long addiction to cigarettes, running her first 5k, and most importantly, overcoming homelessness. One month into the program, Carole began Back on My Feet’s ‘Next Steps’ program which provided her with job training, education opportunities, and access to employment and housing resources. Carole now works a full-time job, lives in her own apartment, and is a Back on My Feet Alumna. Looking ahead, Carole is more confident in her future than ever knowing that Back on My Feet remains by her side every step of the way.

Meet James 

“I really enjoy my job; every aspect of it. It’s a lot of hard work and I work long days but I wouldn’t want it any other way. And I appreciate Back on My Feet’s helping me find employment and helping me reach so many goals that I never thought were possible!”- James 

“To say that Back on My Feet saved my life is an understatement. They are responsible for showing me a life full of opportunity that I had never had or known before.” James, Back on My Feet Alumni member. James became homeless after his income was cut in half and eventually lead him to the Wheeler Mission Ministries in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. It his first months at Wheeler, James noticed fellow residents waking up early to go for morning runs. A case of curiosity was the first step in getting James, a man who had never ran a day in his life, up and out the door at 5:45am for a morning run with Back on My Feet. It was the close-knit community that quickly became the driving force behind James’ 100% attendance rate at the early morning runs, three days a week. 

As a result of his perfect attendance, James graduated to the Back on My Feet Next Steps program where he was provided with educational support and training programs, which led to being introduced to Back on My Feet Indianapolis’ employment partner Scenic Green. In just over a year of working at Scenic Green, James received multiple promotions. Today, James takes pride in his title as Back on My Feet alumni and has logged more than 480 miles running, resides in his own apartment, and maintains full-time employment. James continues his commitment to Back on My Feet, attending as many morning runs as his schedule allows and keeping running as a priority in his life. As of May 2016, James has successfully completed 3 half-marathons, and has his sights on Indianapolis’ Monumental Marathon in the upcoming years!

Meet Samuel 

“It’s about running, but it’s bigger than running, because the program helps you get your life back together.” – Samuel B.

Removed from his hometown of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, Samuel bounced from city to city before finding himself on the streets of Dallas in 2011. Having entered The Bridge facility, Samuel joined Back on My Feet and quickly started training for his first half-marathon. Samuel maintained 90% attendance, attended all of the BoMF-provided trainings and moved into his own apartment.

Samuel ran his half marathon in March 2012, but more importantly, gained employment as a Housekeeping Associate with the Marriott in July 2012. He has sustained employment with the Marriott for more than a year and was recognized at the Los Angeles chapter launch in Oct. 2013.

Did you know that everyone who signs our pledge to end homelessness is helping members like Carole, James and Samual make lasting change in their lives, one step at a time!