Skip to content


CROWDRISE : Jun 12, 2016
Tax ID: 46-3105659
BASED: Jessup, MD, United States



Mission Statement

Run Hope Work empowers young people to transform their own lives and the lives of others. More than just a job training program, Run Hope Work recognizes that success in life depends on character as much as ability and opportunity. Run Hope Work inspires, engages, and strengthens each participant and changes lives.

About Us:

At Run Hope Work, we strive to equip at-risk youth with the tools to build successful careers and futures. Running provides discipline and strength. Community leaders provide motivation. Job training provides marketable skills and opportunities. Three days a week, team members take on the Run Hope Work, a unique job training experience that includes:

-    Running Training, to improve fitness and health

-    Hope Workshops, led by community leaders who have overcome obstacles

-    Job Training in the construction trades- drywall, painting, flooring, and millwork      

Jose’s Story  

Run Hope Work was started by our founder Jose Ortiz, who struggled with addiction and homelessness during his youth, and was saved from a life of hardship by a mentor who taught him the flooring trade and friends who introduced him to running. Now the CEO of a successful company, Jose wants to lead others toward professional success with Run Hope Work.

In his own words... Running saved my life. Let me put it another way: I should be dead. There’s only one reason I am not.                                    

 I smoked pot for the first time when I was nine, finished every abandoned adult drink at family parties, and bounced from school to school, family member to family member, for years. By ninth grade, I was huffing turpentine–for 50 cents a pint, I’d buy myself an hour’s high and a nasty stink.

That should’ve have ended it–right there: I should’ve had brain damage. Instead, I dropped acid, stole drugs, and had no fear of police. After an arrest when I was 15, they put me into treatment for the first time. Within months of getting out, I was freebasing and stealing mescaline. I lived in someone’s closet until my next arrest.

It would be years before I got clean and stayed that way. Years of living in and out of shelters. Years of bouncing around between my birthplace in Puerto Rico and my adopted home in the U.S. Years of alienating most of my friends and family–and doing every drug imaginable.

They say God takes care of fools, and I have to believe that’s true. Even in the worst of times, there were always a few angels who looked out for me. One was a girlfriend’s father, a carpet installer who taught me his business. I learned a trade at 15, and I was good at it.

But a mere job wasn’t enough to keep me clean. It took hitting rock bottom before that would happen, before I would slowly scratch my way back to something like a real life. Luckily, I had a skill. I knew how to install carpets, and I worked hard at it, trying to build a business of my own.

Then in 2007, a friend encouraged me to start running, to try a half marathon. I weighed more than 200 pounds, but he wouldn’t let me quit. I started with shorter distances, determined not to wuss out. I was amazed when I ran my first eight miles, then my first race. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the 10-mile marker. But when I saw a sign that said, “Run for your life,” I knew they were talking to me. I was running for my life.

Running became my drug. When I finished a run, I felt like I could take on the world; My life took off after that. Running transformed my life, really. I learned to eat a certain way, to breathe a certain way. I learned that I could finish something, accomplish something. By the time I ran my first marathon and triathlon, I had lost more than 40 pounds, and I was hooked.

Through running, I met politicians and business people who became not just friends but also colleagues. I was running for my business as well as my life, and my business has grown and grown with every mile I run. It didn’t happen overnight, but I finally got clean and stayed clean.

I haven’t touched drugs or alcohol for 24 years. I have a thriving business, a beautiful, healthy family, a good life. It’s mind boggling. I know my story is not unique- It took a combination of opportunities, hard work and helping hands to get me where I am.  At Run Hope Work, we provide the opportunities, skill-building tools, and mentorship to get our youth on track to success.  

For more information about Jose and his team of ambitious, dedicated youth trainees, visit or

Tax ID: 46-3105659 •


Boricua Rob's Bike to Brooklyn Fundraiser

Boricua Rob's Bike to B…

Amount Raised:



0% Raised of $675 Goal


Bike to Brooklyn

Bike to Brooklyn




14% Raised of $75,000 Goal