Milford Advocacy for the Homeless is currently asking for donations of bicycles to help the homeless population move toward permanent housing. According to Martha Gery, CEO of MAH, a bicycle can be a lifeline to someone who is trying to end the cycle of homelessness.
“It’s more than just a bike,” Gery said. “Most of us see a bicycle as something that is for fun or recreation. But, for those who have no transportation, a bike means a huge difference in their lives. This is the case for our displaced neighbors, many of which have no transportation except the local busing system that is not convenient due to time schedules or limited pick up and drop off locations. That means miles of walking for them every single day.”
Gery explained that bicycles provide a quicker, more reliable method of transportation that also requires less maintenance than a vehicle. It provides a way for someone living in a homeless situation to obtain employment or get to and from a job the already hold.
“It is not uncommon for us to hand someone a bike and then watch them break into tears,” Gery said. “That small act of giving them a bike means their life is now moving in a different direction. They always see it as the helping hand they need to keep moving forward.”
Currently, there are over 50 people that are in need of bicycles and that number keeps growing, Gery explained. She also pointed out that a large number of the homeless in Milford are employed, but simply cannot find affordable housing. Throughout the state, homelessness has grown. In fact, a 2022 report found that homelessness had doubled in Delaware since 2021. In addition, homeless families, those with children under 18, have tripled since 2019.
Research indicates that 43 percent of the homeless in the United States, including Delaware, are employed. Most are working minimum wage jobs which make it difficult for them to find affordable housing. Others are underemployed, which means they are not provided enough hours to cover housing. For those who have become unemployed, becoming homeless makes it much more difficult to obtain new employment as they may have limited access to showers or laundry facilities, lack of access to technology or may be unable to fulfill address requirements. Transportation is a significant hurdle to those living in homelessness obtaining employment if they are not already employed, which is why MAH offers the bicycle donation program.
“If you have a bike in your garage that you’re not using or you’d simply like to purchase a bike and donate it, bike donations can be dropped off at 13 Mill Street,” Gery said. “If the bike is in need of repair, we partner with Second Wind Bicycles to have it repaired.”
For more information about the efforts of MAH to end homelessness in the area, visit https://milordadvocacyforthehomeless.org or call 302-643-2470.
Share this Post