The Power Of Running: A New Way To Tackle Homelessness

"I’ve got problems, but I can cope with them, quite often through running."

Video by Emily Verdouw

Finishing the Melbourne Marathon just over a year ago would have been unthinkable for Ian Brown. He had just joined the running group 'On My Feet' and a 3km run had pushed him to his absolute limits.

Just prior to that, Ian was living in a hostel while he waited for a place at a Perth homeless shelter, St Bartholomew's.

"From 2013-2015 I'd really done no exercise at all," Ian Brown told The Huffington Post Australia.

That was until Keegan Crage, founder of 'On My Feet', came into Brown's hostel and asked if he'd like to join a running group.

"When Keegan came along with 'On My Feet' I was starting to get a little bit more structured, and then after joining 'On My Feet' the structure started to form.

"I still suffered depression some days but nowhere near to the extent as before," Brown said.

'On My Feet' is a not for profit that uses running to help those facing homelessness to get structure back into their lives.

The idea is that running can bring back a sense of self worth and purpose to an individual, and if they're committed and show up three times a week, then they'll be helped into education and employment opportunities.

For Ian Brown that's exactly the outcome he achieved.

Now working for Food Rescue on a two-month contract, he has completed the Melbourne Marathon and now also volunteers as a co-ordinator for 'On My Feet'.

"They just helped me get back on track, and keep me going and going," he said.

To find out more about 'On My Feet' head over here. You can join their running groups in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.