COVID-19 disrupted our lives and forced us all to deeply reflect on the importance of a safe home, livable wage and the power of community. For far too many of our members, the “shelter in place” orders only intensified the already existing barriers preventing them from finding jobs and homes. It exacerbates the feelings of isolation and solitude that many who are dealing with addiction or experiencing homelessness already feel daily. As hiring freezes and layoffs mounted, Back on My Feet was there.
Over the course of a weekend in March 2020, we pivoted our program delivery to virtual when possible. We worked with partners to bridge the tech gap for our members and alumni so they could access our virtual circle. Many of our alumni experienced layoffs and furloughs, but again, Back on MY Feet was there. We stayed vigilant and at the forefront of the needs for the current job market. Alumni worked closely with us to find new employment, learn new skills, including how to interview over video, and apply for emergency financial aid grants to keep their housing and their utilities.
Since 2007, Back on My Feet has helped individuals experiencing homelessness through the power of fitness, community support and essential employment and housing resources, providing a space for them to thrive and be healthy — mentally and physically. 2020 was no different, we just added more resources to our toolbox.