By: Ella Curcuruto

As you may know, Back on My Feet (BoMF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people in recovery shelters get their lives back on track. We do this by organizing morning runs that aid in our member’s health and wellness. Hence our name: Back on My Feet. Over the next seven weeks, we will introduce you to the facilities where members of our program reside.

We have partnerships with seven facilities across the city. These include St. John’s Hospice, Center for Hope, Our Brothers Place, House of Passage, Kirkbride, Ready, Willing and Able, and House of Healing. In the following seven-part blog series, we will take you through each of these. We will discuss what their mission is, and why it’s important. So keep checking every week for a new post!

To begin, it may be helpful for you to understand the different types of facilities Back on My Feet partners with.

There are many volunteer and member stories already on our blog, but we have yet to talk about the shelters themselves. The goal of this series is to highlight all the incredible work happening at the facilities, and the diversity existing within the facilities we serve. We hope you enjoy reading and consider this a space to learn and ask questions.


Back on My Feet Philly

ST. John’s Hospice

Established in 1963 by a Catholic pastor, Monsignor Anthony J. O’Neill, St. John’s Hospice is a “gospel-centered” emergency shelter. As they say on their website, their mission is to provide services for homeless men in the community. So far, they’ve done an amazing job. The staff provides meals, drug and alcohol-free residence, showers, clothing, and much more.

St. John’s has made a huge impact on the community during their fifty-five years of service. Three thousand men are fed full meals per week; that’s over eight million meals to date! From meals to residence for over two-hundred-fifty men a week, St. John’s is a facility that Back on My Feet is proud to have been partners with since 2009.

In addition to residential services, St. John’s also provides:

One of St. John’s unique programs gets the community involved through cooking. Casseroles are served as the “hot noon meal” to the homeless men at the shelter. St. John’s encourages people to make casseroles at home, and donate them to the shelter. Some of their favorite recipes are beef stroganoff, shepherd’s pie, and tuna noodle casserole. People are also encouraged to use their own favorite recipes if they would like.

Ramon Laboy, the Program Director at BoMF Philadelphia says:

“In regards to Philadelphia history, they have served thousands and thousands of people. They also do daily feedings. So they feed food-insecure and housing-insecure individuals on a daily basis. If you ever go there around twelve o’clock, the line just wraps around the building. And they do that every single day.”
Ramon provides a line of communication between the Back on My Feet program and the facilities the program partnerships. Over the course of his 5-year tenure with Back on My Feet he has seen the critical importance a strong relationship with partnering facilities plays in the success of our members.

To learn more about St. John’s Hospice, we encourage you to take a look at their video, which features Back on My Feet alumni Chrishere.