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Press Release: United Way of Central Indiana Partners with Back on my Feet

United Way of Central Indiana’s Social Innovation Fund Granted Back on My Feet $60,000.

November 2021 (Indianapolis, IN)United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) Social Innovation Fund awarded Back on My Feet a $60,000 grant to continue combatting homelessness through the power of fitness, community support, and essential employment and housing resources. This latest grant will enable Back on My Feet to increase their impact and help more people overcome barriers related to health and well-being, education, workforce development and social capital.  

“We could not be more excited for the impact this will make in the greater Central Indiana community,” said Jonathan Jones, United Way’s senior director of social innovation. “Through investing in new and sustainable initiatives in human services, our communities will be stronger, and our neighbors will be empowered for years to come.” 

Indianapolis has one of the most significant economically disadvantaged populations in the nation, with 15.8% living in poverty in 20191 and according to a January 2020 survey2, 1,588 individuals in Indianapolis are experiencing homelessness. And there is great anticipation that the number has grown significantly larger due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact. Research estimates that after 7 years in poverty, an individual only has a 13% chance of exiting poverty. And 25-30% of individuals who experience homelessness once, experience it again. The best way to break this cycle of poverty and homelessness is to work with individuals on their career goals and upskill them to gain a competitive advantage in the workforce. 

UWCI Social Innovation Fund invests in community-based organizations looking to intentionally accelerate the cycle of innovation through the testing of promising practices that ultimately improve efficiencies and the effectiveness of service delivery, leading to quality outcomes for individuals and families in Central Indiana.  

On average, the cost to serve one individual experiencing homelessness in Indianapolis is just over $20,000 annually2 while the cost for Back on My Feet to serve one member through their highly individualized program is a one-time investment of $1,696.74. Back on My Feet aims to utilize UWCI’s Social Innovation Fund to better serve its members by supporting both the proven program and by growing the community program through increased volunteerism, thus, increasing the capacity of our staff and the scalability of our program and community partnerships via additional volunteer roles and shared services positions. This will facilitate onboarding and solidify new partnerships to both deepen and expand programming in Indiana. With this support, the Back on My Feet program will be able to strive towards a vision of greater impact and support for the communities we serve, breaking down cycles of poverty and addiction in Indianapolis and serving 170 more individuals in the 2022 programming year. 

  1. https://www.city-data.com/poverty/poverty-Indianapolis-Indiana.html
  2. chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/viewer.html?pdfurl=https%3A%2F%2Fpolicyinstitute.iu.edu%2Fdoc%2Fpit-count-2020-brief.pdf&clen=443177&chunk=true


About United Way of Central Indiana  

United Way of Central Indiana partners to design, support and grow systems that accelerate financial stability and upward mobility for individuals and families living in or near poverty and striving for a brighter future. Our vision is that Central Indiana will be a community where children, individuals and families thrive; neighbors care for each other; and we are proud of all our residents’ quality of life. 


About Back on My Feet 

Back on My Feet combats homelessness through the power of fitness, community support and essential employment and housing resources. Operating in 15 major cities coast-to-coast, Back on My Feet recruits members at homeless and residential facilities and begins with a commitment to fitness and community. Simultaneously, Back on My Feet provides members with educational support, job training programs, employment partnership referrals and housing resources. Since 2007, Back on My Feet members have obtained more than 7,500 jobs and homes. We have also engaged more than 150,000 volunteers and supporters. Every $1 invested in Back on My Feet returns nearly $2.50 to the local community through increased economic output and cost savings. For more insight into how the Back on My Feet program works and to hear members’ stories, follow us on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram.   


Media Contact : Ashley Austin , Back on My Feet Communications Manager  , Media@backonmyfeet.org  

See how you can combat homelessness with us today.