LA2050 Grants Challenge applications are open now through June 28th, 2024.
2023 Grants Challenge

Transforming Lives One Run at a Time

Using the power and community of running, the project will improve the lives of those who are homelessness, at-risk of homelessness, and face substance abuse challenges. Participants who are accepted into the Small Grants Program by Skid Row Running Club will receive a small financial grant for housing, educational, or employment goals after completing certain running and non-running milestones aimed towards developing new skills and positive relationship, exploring opportunities and improving self-confidence.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Income Inequality

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

East LA

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

Income inequality affects an individual's ability to obtain housing and actively participate in their community. The Skid Row Running Club focuses on providing a community for individuals seeking to overcome substance abuse and achieving positive life goals through the power of running. Some challenges our runners face relate to lack of education, employment skills, housing stability and means to achieve their goals. Other challenges some of our members face due to their personal experiences include health and well-being, confidence, and self-worth. Our runners have found that the shared journey to train for a marathon creates meaningful relationships and brings out the commonality we all have as humans, whether we are homeless, financially wealthy, a police officer, a superior court judge, or someone formerly-incarcerate. Our runners work together to inspire each other in running and in life in building a better community. We believe in: "if you want to run far, run together".

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

The project will provide small grants to specific participants to assist them in achieving goals related to housing, employment, or education. Participants will be homeless, at-risk for homelessness, or low-income and be a regular member of the running club for a pre-determined amount of time The Small Grants Program by Skid Row Running Club (Small Grants Program) will require the participant to complete certain milestones over their time in the program, including 6 months of marathon training, completion of LA Marathon, attendance at an overnight trip and race with the Club to experience new locales, cultures and people, develop and lead a community service event, obtain at least part-time employment, and participation in a sobriety program and wellness program. The pillars of our running program focus on how running can improve your health, build a community, and take you places you may not have dreamed were possible. We also want our participants to see the value of giving back to the community. Small grant funds will be provided to the individual based on their specific needs to assist with such items as a deposit for housing or purchase of furniture, vehicle down payment, educational needs such as tuition or training, or employment needs such as license costs, tools, or union dues. We believe these small grants will aid our participants with overcoming some of the barriers into becoming financially stable.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

The intent is to have those that complete the program will have new-found skills, opportunity, and means to achieve certain goals and overcome barriers that have impacted their ability to achieve financial or housing stability. Along the way, they will improve their mental and physical health and build a positive community with other runners and participants in the program. Through their experiences and success, they will be able to mentor new participants in their journey to financial and housing stability, creating a stronger community together.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Measurement has previously been based on participants in various races and international marathons, and the count of active members in the Club. On-going measurement will focus on the achievement of certain goals assessed by participants in the program, which could include obtaining employment or promotion, completing a technical training, class, or education program, or obtaining long-term housing.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 25

Indirect Impact: 1,000