What does a bike mean to a family? A way to get around faster than walking? A family outing? Access to a drug store or supermarket? Transportation to a new job? For the families at Family Promise, a bike can be any and all of these things and more.
FPWNY would like to install a bike rack immediately outside the doors of our shelter and supply it with used bikes and locks. The goal would be to help eliminate the barrier of transportation. Our parents are required to get to appointments - downtown to the Department of Social Services to continue their housing stay, to apartment searches, to work, etc. While our shelter is located on bus lines, homeless families do not get free passes and still must pay to get around the city. Having free bikes to borrow would provide another layer of support to families struggling to get around. Reddy Bikeshare, a bike rental operation located around the city of Buffalo, requires a membership which makes this service inaccessible to families in poverty.
Bikes are also opportunities for families to have fun. FPWNY is located close to the bike paths at the Outer Harbor, and there is even a park across the street for smaller children to ride safely. By providing different sized bikes, we can stay true to the goal to maintain happy and healthy familial relationships. The whole family can go on a fun outing and simultaneously get some exercise.
The best part about this idea is that FPWNY is a community-driven organization. If we house a family that takes advantage of the bikes, FPWNY would be able to gift that family with a bike upon exiting our program. We plan on partnering with our network of supporters and with Gobike Buffalo to resupply bikes to our organization.
Funded by Homelessness (July 2021)