The Power of Re-Cycling
CHESTERTOWN, MD—Director of Public Safety Jerry Roderick helped turn castoffs into commuting tools when he offered bicycles that students had abandoned on campus to a men’s homeless shelter in Dover, Del.
Every year, Public Safety collects bikes that have been left behind on campus, clearly forgotten or no longer wanted by their owners. This year, Roderick learned about a bicycle program run by the Dover Interfaith Mission’s shelter for homeless men and decided to offer it WC’s bounty of bikes. Public Safety was storing the 10 unclaimed bicycles in the empty Board of Education building on Washington Avenue.
The Dover shelter repairs and refurbishes the bikes for their clients, who can use them to get to job interviews and, ideally, to jobs. “This is a godsend,” says Herb Konowitz, vice chair of the Mission. “These bikes couldn’t have arrived at a better time. We’ve had a lot of new people coming to the shelter in recent weeks, and the bicycle transportation is a very important part of our mission. Most of the men are using the bikes to get to places here in Dover, but we do have one resident who bikes 30 miles to a job every day.”
The men’s shelter houses some 36 people every night, working with them to help them find work. After 90 days, the employed residents are recommended to transition houses that charge rent.
Roderick says he anticipates making this an annual gift, as long as the shelter continues its bicycle program. “These bikes served their student riders well here on campus, and it is fitting that they go back into service assisting others,” he says. “This is a great opportunity to help people with a real need.”