Reginald, 37, spends his nights sleeping in a bunk at Higher Ground Saint Paul Shelter. His days are filled with travel around the Twin Cities searching for opportunity, but he has a few strikes against him.
When he was just 15-years-old, he accompanied someone who committed a crime in the “nice part” of Bloomington. The judge told him he didn’t belong in that part of town and sentenced him to six years of probation, creating a blight on his record which follows him to this day.
His only transportation options are his two feet or public transportation, so getting to and from work presents challenges. A recent job in Hudson, WI often left him stranded across state lines at shift’s end when he could find no one willing or able to give him a ride back to the shelter.
He’s still recovering from a back injury sustained at work and cannot lift more than 25 pounds.
With all of these challenges, Reginald presses on. He’s looking for work in a factory, construction, landscaping or cooking. He’s not picky; he’s motivated.
“You have more help here; I feel like I have more opportunity,” he said on a sunny spring morning, sitting in the lobby at Higher Ground Saint Paul.
Reginald joined Mile in My Shoes (MiMS) earlier this spring and quickly became a dedicated member. It’s one more resource for helping him attain his top two goals of employment and housing. MiMS is a volunteer running program where community runners connect with client runners and run two mornings weekly. MiMS provides client runners with the proper shoes and clothing they need for running.
“Running is very stress-relieving,” Reginald said after a recent run. “This is very motivating and inspiring. The staff that runs with you are motivating and the run mentors don’t push you, they inspire you.”
Since joining MiMS, Reginald said he’s living a more healthful lifestyle, being more active and eating more nutritious foods.
“I used to see people running while I was drinking my coffee and smoking my cigarette—now I’m the one running.”
Six months from now, Reginald said he intends to be enjoying yet another view.
“In six months…I’ll have a job and I’ll have been working it for awhile. I’ll have a place of my own,” he said. “I know now people can go through all types of things in life, but not matter what you go through, God will not put you through anything more than you can handle.”