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Cycles 4 Hope Provides Independence for Area's Homeless Population

04/13/2015 11:47AM ● Published by Kristen Castillo
Have a bike you’re not using anymore? Don’t just leave it in your garage. Donate it to an organization that will give the bikes to the homeless, helping them gain hope, independence and opportunity.

Cycles 4 Hope, a nonprofit based in Granite Bay, serves the greater Sacramento region; since July 2008, they’ve given out 4,000 bikes.

“The overwhelming response is gratefulness,” says Shawn Holiday who founded Cycles 4 Hope after spending a Saturday morning with some of the homeless in the downtown Sacramento area.

Overwhelmed by the numbers of homeless men, women and children living on the streets, he decided to help empower them. Holiday set out to collect and distribute bikes to the homeless, since without transportation, they didn’t have a way to get to shelters, jobs or receive medical care.

“A bicycle and a few kind words can dramatically impact how a homeless person feels about themselves,” Holiday says. “Many have fallen into their situation because they have lost hope in themselves and others.  One of the most important things Cycles 4 Hope can do is help lift their spirits and restore hope in their lives.”

The bikes also provide independence for homeless men and women who can now easily and cheaply get where they need to go. Having reliable transportation also means the homeless have better chances of finding and sustaining employment, which Holidays says, “helps them out of homelessness.”

Cycles 4 Hope always needs community support. They need donations of new and used bikes and parts; volunteers for their weekly wrench nights; retail or warehouse space to store the bikes; monetary donations to cover operational costs; and awareness about their mission.

Long term, Cycles 4 Hope would like to expand across the country by working with local bike shops, service organizations and servant minded people and organizations.

For now, helping local homeless men, women and children is very gratifying.

“Seeing a smile on face of someone that has received a bike from Cycles 4 Hope is what keeps us motivated,” says Holiday.

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