Participating In Marathon Relay Giving Former Homeless Feeling Of Accomplishment
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Like thousands of others, they have been busy this winter and spring training for the Dick’s Sporting Goods City of Pittsburgh Marathon.
But there’s is a comeback like no others.
“I became homeless after long my job,” said James Edmond, a marathon participant.
Edmond spent most of the past year in and out of shelters before finding community with the Living Ministry on the North Side. Now, he’s part of their marathon relay team.
“I can’t wait to see the people standing around, watching us go by, cheering us on,” he said.
Just last year, Living Ministry entered its first team in the marathon to great effect.
Minister and director Charles Chapman said it experience was transformative for people whose lives have been full of disappointments and false starts.
“The sense of accomplishment is huge,” said Chapman. “A lot of the guys start stuff and don’t finish, but when you can start a race and finish, I think that really matters.”
Christopher Hellerman just got off the street, and running and walking is helping him stay off. Competing in the marathon will be the culmination.
“It’ll be a real triumph to get through it,” said Hellerman. “I’m kind of excited about it, it’s something I’ve never done.”
That sense of accomplishment in finishing the race on Sunday will be the icing on the cake for the formerly homeless men, and perhaps the beginning of a new life.