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Former homeless veteran back on his feet with help from running group

CENTRAL PARK -- The power of running -- it not only helps people get in shape, it also helps save lives.

A former homeless vet shares his story on how a group of runners, who are part of a nationwide non-profit, helped him get back on his feet.

Derek Drescher spend 18 months in a homeless shelter for vets in midtown New York. After a stint in jail, drug free, with no possessions, and still living in a veteran's shelter, Derek knew it was time to turn his life around.

The shelter he was staying at Samaritan Village was a partner with "Back on My Feet.”

Back on My Feet, is a national non-profit which team up with shelters to combat homelessness through running and community support.

Derek was encouraged to join the running group. After much resistance, he gave in. He made it past that first morning and kept coming back, not only for the running, but the community.

Each run starts at 5:45 a.m. and starts with a hug. Once you’ve made the commitment to run three days a week for 30 days you get access to the next step, which includes tips on how to get a job, managing money, wellness tips and much more.

Derek is now a full-time employee at Back on My Feet, a multiple marathon and ultra-marathon runner, and an inspirational speaker.

His message to others?

“We don't have to live the life we were living, anything is possible.”

Back on My Feet's goal is be in every city in the U.S. and expand worldwide to help combat homelessness.

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