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"I don't live in anger anymore. I'm more service oriented. I get my rewards for helping other people, whether it's volunteering at the water station, going to Circle Ups as an alumni, and giving back."

— Mike, Back on My Feet Indianapolis, Alum

From Homeless to Providing Hope: Mike’s Story

For years, Mike, now an Indianapolis alum, was in and out of recovery. He lived in Monument Circle for a year, reading, drinking, and even sleeping. He remembers waking up at 5:30 am, so he wasn’t “that homeless guy just laying there.”

It wasn’t until he joined Back on My Feet’s Circle Ups that Mike felt a new chapter take shape.

“When I first joined Circle Ups, it was amazing because of all the volunteers and all the new people you met from new houses. It’s refreshing; a good way to start the day.”

Aside from the fitness gateway, Back on My Feet’s programs and workshops inspired Mike. He notes the volunteers’ passion as they shared their time, knowledge, and care. It was an impetus for him to give back as well.

“When I talk about Back on My Feet and community, I talk about family. They root you on. I built relationships with these people. A volunteer helped me build a resume and find a job. The workshops are fundamental. It’s an amazing organization because of volunteers. It’s exciting.”

Mike became a passionate volunteer himself, helping Back on My Feet during the pandemic. He would help transport members and serve as a water station captain for races so other members could receive free race entry. He even returns to Monument Circle, where he was homeless for many years, to give back with food and words of encouragement.

Mike takes pride in reconnecting with people in his life, celebrating four years of sobriety, and even improving his golf game. His journey includes actively participating in the recovery program’s 12 steps and guiding others through the process. “You have to give away what you’ve been given to keep your sobriety,” Mike reflects.

It’s people like Mike who make our communities better. See how you can help through volunteering or giving today.

See how you can combat homelessness with us today.