Nothing but Net

We are big sports fans here at Helping Up Mission and are really grateful when players and coaches from the Orioles and Ravens support what we do here.  You may also know that our Helping Up Mission running team is connected with Back on My Feet Baltimore and many will be participating in the Baltimore Running Festival ( 

We have a Helping Up Mission softball team and played in a couple of local leagues in recent years. Now, we have added a basketball team to our repertoire. You can read the whole story, the cover story, by Andrea Thomson at (Pretriever 1, 2009).

Originating in the heart and mind of Charlie Rubenstein, a Senior with an American Studies major at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, the league started with 17 men from Helping Up Mission.  Sharing a similar vision to Back on My Feet, Rubenstein’s league was designed to help men who are homeless and suffering from addiction to improve their physical health and self-esteem while teaching the importance of discipline and teamwork.  But turning an idea, even a good one, into a reality is not so easy. Actually making the league function every week, including the logistics of finding an appropriate venue to play and setting up schedules, was Rubenstein’s biggest challenge.   

But his persistence paid off.  The basketball team is thriving and men on the team have stepped up as coaches and organizers.  In fact, the program has worked so well, Rubenstein hopes to have eight to twelve teams in the league next year.   

His idea is absolutely right.  Athletics are a great motivation for men in addiction to sit still and continue working on their recovery.  Like our band, our art therapy or even their daily work therapy assignments around here, it becomes just one more good reason for a guy to stay clean for one more day.  Thank you Charles Rubenstein for your vision and your interest in making a difference in the lives of men here in downtown Baltimore. 

Pastor Gary Byers
Spiritual Life Director