What Is Mile in My Shoes?

Mile in My Shoes connects runners from diverse backgrounds to build community, support health and wellness among those experiencing homelessness, and spark social awareness. We run together to change perceptions and change lives.

Who Is Mile in My Shoes?

• Volunteer "Run Mentors" who want to share their love of running and build bonds across our Twin Cities community

• Residents of shelters and transitional housing ("Resident Members") who want to get fit, meet new people, and make a positive impact

Mile in My Shoes runners benefit from improved fitness, greater confidence and motivation, and a deeper connection to their wider community.

How Does It Work?

Our running teams, based at shelters and transitional housing, run together 2-3 times a week and take part in local races of all distances, from 5Ks to marathons. Thanks to donors and partners, we are able to outfit every Resident Member with new shoes and running gear.

Why We Run

Since launching in 2014, MiMS has helped:

●      300+ people experiencing homelessness, exiting the prison system, and recent refugees lace up a pair of new running shoes and run their first mile

●      150+ members run a 5K race, 21 run a half-marathon, and 11 run a full marathon

●      80+ members reach alumni status, completing between 20 and 200 runs each

●      Dozens of members connect to housing and employment opportunities

Our Impact, In Our Words

Resident Members:

After 16 years [incarcerated], I came out feeling like I had a scarlet letter on my chest. I honestly didn't believe there were good people in the world. Mile in My Shoes changed all that. After 2 or 3 weeks of runs - and these weird hugs - the wall I'd built around myself had come down. My mom said, 'Wow, I got my son back.’ - Alumni Member, Team VOA Southside

 Run Mentors:

Before MiMS I ran alone and was one of the most judgmental people you would ever meet. I had a very strict code to life and if you didn’t follow it, I had no time for you. Then I signed up with MiMS and I learned that homeless people are not lazy and that refugees and those recently incarcerated are looking for new beginnings. I learned that we are all full of hope and love. You see, before MiMS I knew why I ran for - for me. But now I know what I run for: I run for love, hope, and as many chances as you need.            - Run Mentor Joe R.

What Does It Cost?

To make running accessible to our members, every Resident Member of Mile in My Shoes receives a full set of new running gear when they join our program. They also earn incentives, such as team gear and GPS running watches, as they reach attendance milestones. Members also participate in all team races and social events free of charge. What does it cost to put one person through the Mile in My Shoes program?

 One cycle (three months): $537

One full season (nine months): $692

One full season + distance race: $937

 Seventy-five percent of MiMS funding comes from individual donors, and every dollar makes a big impact. Thank you for supporting our teams.

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