In Racine, Wis., an unlikely group of women has banded together to support each other as they train for an upcoming 5K run. The group is spearheaded by two local women, Maritza Byron and Amy Schaal, who are enthusiastically helping the homeless get in shape. Each week, eight homeless women from the Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization (HALO) shelter join them outside a local YMCA to stretch and talk, before they head off on practice runs.
In addition to helping the women become more physically active, the exercise regime has also improved their mental and emotional well-being, resulting in more energy and an optimistic outlook.
At the start, HALO resident Donna Agosto, 60, didn't think she'd ever get to a mile. But now Agosto leads the pack and inspires the other women.
"She is our quiet hero. She works harder than anyone," Schaal said. "A couple weeks ago we did a mile time trial. She was so emotional to have run a mile. The look of bliss over her face was unbelievable."