Church Offers Bike Repairs

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This recent Friday morning is slow for Heart of the City's Operation Bicycle, a program Brown started that provides free bike repairs to economically struggling and homeless people. It even offers them an opportunity to earn a new bike, after they perform some community service.

Brown has been doing this, in some capacity, since 2004. The agency does repairs every Friday. However, the building he's working out of now has only been the agency's home for four years. It was provided by Mission Church, where Brown is a pastor.

“We want to empower people to take initiative and to better their lives,” Brown says.

The program offers ­classes, what they call the Apron program. Participants in these classes learn about fixing bikes and progressively earn different tiers of aprons, starting with yellow before moving on to red, green and eventually black. Brown compared it to belts that are given in martial arts. Some of the participants volunteer at the shop. Brown was happy to discover that many people who earned red aprons had stopped volunteering because they found jobs elsewhere.

“I'd like to say that that was part of the master plan,” Brown says. “But it wasn't. I was very surprised.”

Read more here.

Posted in: General, Fort Wayne, Community service, Education, Hope, Poverty, Second chances