Preview: Back On My Feet 5k Walk and Run


Gemma Krautzel

Back On My Feet is a national nonprofit organization that focuses on combating homelessness through exercise and support from the community.

Hannah Sweeney, Staff Writer

Next week, the club Back On My Feet will be hosting a 5K walk/run in collaboration with Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Back On My Feet is a national nonprofit organization that focuses on combating homelessness through exercise and support from the community. Through fitness, this organization fosters confidence and independence and aids individuals experiencing homelessness in the process of finding employment, housing and education. So far, Back On My Feet has more than 150,000 volunteers and has employed and housed more than 7,500 people, and it has collectively run over 950,000 miles.


Back On My Feet exists in 15 major cities across the country, with Philadelphia being the founding location. In collaboration with Philadelphia’s Back On My Feet, students at Villanova created their own chapter of this organization. Members of Back On My Feet Villanova drive into Point Breeze in Philadelphia every Friday morning and run/walk with community members. Through weekly runs and walks, students are able to build meaningful relationships that help citizens experiencing homelessness get back on their feet. While running is beneficial to physical health, the club focuses on the mental benefits of exercise. 


Exercise in general is proven to improve mental health by releasing dopamine and other feel-good endorphins. These endorphins can lead to a person gaining self-esteem and confidence in themselves and their abilities. Not only does exercise increase a person’s well-being, but it also reduces anxiety, depression and social withdrawal, which can be common in people experiencing major stressors such as homelessness. By getting up and moving, Villanova students and members of the Philadelphia community can motivate each other to better themselves and each other.


“This organization is my favorite club I am a part of on campus, and I am absolutely honored to be able to lead such a phenomenal group of people,” co-leader of BoMF Villanova Gemma Krautzel said. “The energy and compassion exhibited by members and volunteers even in the early morning hours is inspirational and exhilarating. The relationships I have formed with members have impacted me immensely as we have been able to connect on such a deep and personal level. I am so proud of all that the volunteers do and the effort the members put into improving their lives.”


The upcoming annual Back On My Feet 5K will take place on Villanova’s campus on Friday, Nov. 18 at 3:30 p.m. The race will begin at the Oreo, with snacks and t-shirts given to participants. Tickets are $15 and all proceeds will go to the organization. 


“The 5k will be an incredible way to spread the word and mission of this organization, and I hope this run will inspire others to take part in our mission to combat homelessness,” Krautzel said.

To purchase tickets for a great cause, please visit For more information on the organization, check out @bomf_villanova on Instagram or visit the national organization homepage at