Just before six this past Monday morning, in a parking lot outside the Lawson House YMCA they gather here, and even on a frigid winter morning you can feel the warmth.
They are the volunteers and residents of Lawson YMCA, and three mornings a week they come out to run together. Just one step at a time.
The residents of Lawson YMCA are those experiencing homelessness and live in transitional housing. These runs take place in two other locations across the city.
The runs are part of a program called, "Back on my Feet."
A program that is about getting in shape, they ran two miles on Monday morning, and also about establishing self-esteem and creating new habits.
Charles is just one example of someone who has benefited from this program. Five months ago he'd lost his job and his home. Now, he's back in the work-force and saving money so he can afford his own apartment.
Once in the program for 30 days educational and job training programs are introduced.
And it works.
In just over three years, 281 individuals have participated in the program. Ninety-six of whom have found employment and 69 of whom now live independently.
"Back on my Feet" is a national organization with 11 chapters across the country. On March 2nd, "Back on My Feet Chicago" will host its first race, the Mardi Gras Chaser 5 K.
For more information visit "Back on my Feet Chicago" online.