Press Release For Immediate Release

Baltimore, MD– September 2017

Back on My Feet invites the Baltimore community to support the Penn North Team Launch on Friday, September 29th at 5:30AM at the Kids Safe Zone at 1610 N. Carey Street in West Baltimore — with hundreds of community members expected to attend. Back on My Feet is a national nonprofit organization combatting homelessness through the power of running, community support and essential employment and housing resources. Since 2009, the Back on My Feet Baltimore chapter has served more than 1000 individuals from four teams: Helping Up Mission, MCVET, Christopher Place and Baltimore Station. The fifth team will kick-off with a one mile loop and t-shirts for the first 250 people who attend.

“Back on My Feet is honored and excited to be forging a partnership with a new facility, a new neighborhood and a new community. We are grateful for the invitation to build a team here at Penn North and though we know that trust and relationships take time to build, we are energized by such a warm welcome and excited by the opportunity to expand our Back on My Feet family,” says Executive Director Jackie Range.

“I’m excited to help bring to others what Back on My Feet gave to me. I see this neighborhood and I don’t see the ‘bad.’ I see the good that is being overshadowed,” shares Derel Owens, Back on My Feet program graduate and now new Team Leader for Penn North.

Back on My Feet will partner with Penn North Recovery Center to engage members of the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood with running, community support, and education, employment and housing resources. While maintaining 90% attendance at morning runs, members have access to individualized goal setting, resume writing workshops, mock interview sessions, expungement clinics, child support consultation, credit consultation, financial literacy classes, interpersonal and business communication workshops, basic computer literacy classes, debt reduction, license reacquisition, leadership development, healthcare navigation; financial assistance, employment, and housing referrals.

“Penn-North is a community of friends. We are very excited to be teaming up and becoming friends with an organization such as Back on My Feet,” says Stevie Dixon, President and Chief Operating Officer at Penn North.

Join us on Friday, September 29th at 5:30AM at Kids Safe Zone at 1610 N. Carey Street for the new team launch. More information on Back on My Feet Baltimore can be found at baltimore.backonmyfeet.org.

About Back on My Feet

Back on My Feet combats homelessness through the power of running, community support and essential employment and housing resources. Operating in 12 major cities coast-to-coast, Back on My Feet recruits members at homeless and residential facilities and begins with a commitment to run three days a week. The second phase of the program, Next Steps, provides educational support, job training programs, employment partnership referrals and housing resources. Since 2007, Back on My Feet has served more than 6,000 individuals experiencing homelessness and engaged more than 100,000 volunteers and supporters. Our members have run a collective 500,000 miles and obtained more than 4,500 jobs and homes. Every $1 invested in Back on My Feet returns nearly $2.50 to the local community through increased economic output and cost savings.

Visit our website and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

About Penn North Community Resource Center

Maryland Community Health Initiatives, Inc. (Penn North) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that has been delivering behavioral health and recovery services through its Penn North Community Resource Center in Baltimore City since 1993. Our mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and families struggling to overcome substance abuse, homelessness, unemployment, poverty, crime, and violence. A pioneer in integrative medicine and Recovery Oriented Systems of Care (ROSC), Maryland CHI has been recognized by the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy for its innovative programs and leadership in the recovery movement. Each year, Penn North helps more than 100,000 individuals through its programs and services (here).

About The Kids Safe Zone

On June 1, 2015, the Kids Safe Zone opened to provide a safe, comfortable and secure place for children in the Sandtown-Winchester community that suffers from a lack of resources that the closing of Baltimore City recreation centers created.

The Kids Safe Zone, for at-risk children ages 5 to 17 years old, offers recreation that includes flat screen TVs, Xbox gaming systems, board games, organized sports teams, a computer lab, girls and boys mentoring programs, peer led support groups, licensed counseling, field trips, a study lab and homework assistance.

In the wake of the most recent Baltimore City uprising as a result of the Freddie Gray murder, the resounding notion across the city was that Baltimore City children, specifically children in Sandtown Winchester were defunct of resources, lacked recreation and needed an outlet, Penn North Community Resource Center is answering the call (here).