FREMANTLE’S homeless and unemployed are being encouraged to transform their lives by running around the Esplanade — but locals aren’t buying into it.
The charity On My Feet hosts running sessions at the Esplanade three times a week in a bid to increase participants’ self-worth and help them reconnect with society.
OMF Fremantle co-ordinator Julian Bell says its Rockingham and Perth “chapters” have done well, but it has been struggling to get people bombing around the Esplanade.
“It’s typically a lot harder to keep people coming down,” he says.
“The other chapters have found it easier to show up to a housing area and people will automatically come down.
“When we go to places we have to hand out flyers, and maybe one will show up.”
In a push to get more people attending, OMF held a barbecue/recruitment drive at Foundation Housing last Wednesday.
OMF volunteer Jamil Baba says the aim is to help the homeless give something back to their communities.
“One of our aims is to get the message out in the community that programs like ours exist, and can give homeless people a sense of belonging to a group,” he says.
“We don’t know the goals of a homeless person, but we feel that each one has an aim which we can try to help achieve —improving their fitness is a great start.
“In the long run, it’s a fantastic and unique way to battle homelessness.”
OMF meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:30pm at the Esplanade ferris wheel. For more information visit http://www.onmyfeet.com.au.
by JASON TITHERADGE