In my real life work, I work pretty closely with youth and young adults who have experienced homelessness. It’s a pretty crazy thing to see up close and personal, especially thinking back to what I was like at the ages of some kids who are surviving on the streets (some under 10 years old). While it is heartbreaking stuff, it’s amazing and uplifiting to see people, non-profits, and churches aim to tackle the issue head on.
The 18th annual Race for the Homeless 5k/10k takes place in Vancouver, generally the first Saturday in August (this year the 5th). All race proceeds go to Open House Missions, an entity who provides shelter, safety, and hope to families experiencing homelessness, by teaching them skills to assist in getting themselves out of their current situation. From the website:
Since incorporation in 1986, Open House Ministries has provided shelter, safety, and hope to families without homes. Their program focus is to equip families with life skills and foundational tools to help them regain healthy, independent lives. They accomplish this through personalized case management, strong community networks, volunteer support, and the generous endowments of our caring community. Each family agrees to participate in a program designed to assist them in resolving their homeless situation.
The race starts and ends at the O.O. Howard House on Fort Vancouver Way. Both race distances start together, headings south on Ft Vancouver and meandering through the fort area before climbing and crossing over Highway 14 (if you’ve ran in Vancouver ever, you are probably relatively familiar with this route). Shortly thereafter, runners will pass Joe’s Crab Shack and do a little jaunt alongside the river before hitting a water turnaround. The same path will be followed back, except once 5th street is head east and continue a loop back to the O.O. Howard House
The 10k runners will follow the same path, but instead of turning around at the water station, they will continue east for an additional 1.5 miles or so, until their turnaround midpoint is reached. Everything else remains the same as the 5k.
After the race, stick around for some fun. There will be food and drink, as well as entertainment during the Fun Fair. In addition, there will be a complimentary kids fun run as well.
The race is already low-cost and your entry essentially pays for itself, as every runner gets a $20 gift card from Fleet Feet. Shirts are free through 7/24 and only $10 if you miss that cutoff.
Race for the Homeless (Vancouver)
When: Saturday, August 5th 2015 at 8am
Where: O.O. Howard House on Fort Vancouver Way in Vancouver, WA
Register Online here; $15 (shirt, goodie bag and food included in pre-registration)