CrossFit gym hosts workout to help homeless Mid-Missouri veterans

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COLUMBIA – The CrossFit Aggregate gym will host its second annual MURPH for Welcome Home on Monday.

MURPH is a workout that takes place across the country over Memorial Day weekend. The event is in honor of fallen Navy SEAL Michael Murphy, and here in Columbia all proceeds from MURPH benefit Welcome Home.

Welcome Home is a shelter for homeless veterans in Mid-Missouri. It also helps veterans find independent housing, get jobs and get back on their feet in society.

The MURPH workout can be grueling, but CrossFit Aggregrate’s event planner Jessi Whitehurse said it can be inspiring to participate in this workout on this Memorial Day holiday. 

“MURPH is a mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats and a mile run,” Whitehurse said. “A lot of athletes will do it in a weighted vest as well to simulate what the SEALs would’ve had with their packs on.”

Welcome Home board member Shelly Silvey said there is an estimated 700 homeless veterans in Missouri.

Welcome Home has 32 beds available to veterans, and the beds are in such high demand that there’s a wait list. Silvey said on average a veteran will stay at Welcome Home for 90 days.

“In that 90 days that it takes to get a veteran back on their feet and into independent housing, it costs about $5,000 from intake to discharge, and that money comes from all sorts of resources but local donations really make a difference,” Silvey said.

Last year the first MURPH for Welcome Home raised over $1,000, and this year Whitehurse says she expects to at least double that amount.

The community coming together for something such as this workout for a great cause is what Whitehurse says it's all about. 

“Cross-fit is known for being a really big community builder, and pairing that up with helping local veterans get off the streets and back onto their feet is just really empowering," Whitehurse said. “You know that you can do some good just by coming to do a workout."

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