Cornerstone Resource Alliance (CRA), the nonprofit organization that recently received a three-year Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter (KOTS) management contract, has launched “Jump Start,” a new bike rehabilitation program designed to provide homeless people with a means of transportation.
Cornerstone case manager Anne Barnett, with the support of local activist Shirley Freeman, launched Jump Start after Barnett noticed an abundance of abandoned bikes around town. Sensitive to her clients’ need for transportation, Barnett has obtained bikes from the Key West Police Department in the past, so she put in a call to the KWPD, who referred her to Bill Garner, security provider at the Key West Bight Marina for the City of Key West. With Garner’s help, Barnett, along with other CRA staff and clients, collected more than 75 abandoned bicycles from the Bight area and the Old Town Parking Garage.
Cornerstone Resource Alliance clients are now working on repairing the bicycles in a space provided by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. “Once repaired, the bikes will be distributed through our case management program to clients needing transportation for work or due to medical issues,” CRA founder/president Elicia Pintabona said. “Tools, bike locks and repair materials like inner tubes have been provided by CRA, and the KWPD is providing lights for the rehabbed bikes. We are so grateful for the collaboration of multiple agencies and the hard work of our staff and clients that makes this possible.”
“We’re thrilled that through our Jump Start program we are able to promote the beautification of our island, improve recycling, and provide transportation assistance to those most in need,” said Barnett, “and of course we always welcome donations to the program.”