There is an immediate need for bikes to serve three homeless individuals. If possible, equipment must be in good working order and appropriately sized to fit:
Male, medium height
We can supply locks and helmets, although we will not turn away any other donations, including used children's bikes. From a recent Operation Safety Net press release:
Sharon Sumansky, director of homeless services at Pittsburgh Mercy, cited a report by Allegheny County that estimates the current homeless population at around 3,500. In comparison to other northern cities, more homeless residents in Allegheny County hail from the Steel City.
"Coach" Jack Brumbaugh
Cindy Tilson 412-726-7114
Have you contacted Free Ride? Or Jerry Kraynick at Kraynick's Bike Shop?
A used bike ain't that expensive.
I'll post this on "my" Safe Streets South Hills Pittsburgh, PA Facebook Page and will see if anyone responds. There are a fair number of individuals who have a bike hanging around in their basement or garage that, with a little work, could be put into service.
A used bike might not be expensive to acquire, but it wouldn't be difficult to drop $200 into parts to make it properly usable -- a good front and rear light, batteries, charging equipment, a new chain, new cables, tubes, tires -- not to mention a few hours of labor. And that's assuming it has good pedals, derailleur, bottom bracket, various bearings, etc. Then also add $25 for a good lock, more for a decent helmet, maybe a mirror, proper wet weather gear. No kidding, for someone to get properly set up to commute to a job, you're probably talking on the order of $500 apiece, even for a cheap bike.
If they cannot get to a job on a cold day or in the rain or in the dark, they won't keep that job long. Skimp on any of the above, the bike becomes a non-option for commuting. And even at $10/hour, that's still dozens of hours of pay just to get properly equipped.
I'm not saying don't do this, but be real. If you want to give homeless people a leg up, be prepared to spend some serious money.
In some cases Stu, maybe. However, everyday, I see a number of folks commuting by bicycle who do not have all of the bells and whistles that some of us may be able to afford. They somehow continue to carry on. A decent bike gives one transportation and then, with time on the job, one can put some cash into one's bicycle to improve it or perhaps save for a better bike.
Bridgette, how's the status on this?