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RunningWorks: New Steps to Fight Homelessness

RunningWorks: New Steps to Fight Homelessness

Inspiration is easy to come by for those who have experienced RunningWorks.

The nonprofit program, founded in 2012, is run out of the Urban Ministry Center in Charlotte and encourages the homeless community to empower themselves through teamwork, discipline, confidence and respect. What started as a running club for the underserved isn’t just a physical escape, but also the core of friendship, fun, safety and so much more. 

The “Neighbors” meet to run and stay afterward for post-run seminars on teamwork, anger management, and other topics. Sometimes there are prizes: free sneakers, bus passes and clothes. But among everyone, volunteers included, is a shared sense of mutual respect, confidence, accountability and camaraderie.

Running physically helps the body grow stronger.  It’s a full-body exercise that works our lungs and hearts, strengthens muscle, tendons and bones and prepares us to tackle challenges. So it seems only right that it can enable people of all backgrounds to overcome obstacles in life, one stride at a time.

Through RunningWorks, people from all walks of life pound the pavement together three times a week. For those who participate, it is an often unspoken reminder that we are all people.  Everyone has a story and needs human connection, and homelessness is merely a condition, not what defines a person.

OrthoCarolina is proud to support RunningWorks. For more on the group’s mission, runs or volunteer opportunities, visit their website or find them on Facebook.


“Nothing of any consequence happens unless people get behind an idea. It begins with an individual and they share the idea with more individuals—and eventually it becomes a movement.”

Christopher Reeve

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