Putting Disadvantaged Tulsans On Wheels
If you don't have a car in Tulsa, you're in a lot of trouble.Everything from working to seeing a doctor becomes very difficult.But there's a unique group that's working to help disadvantaged people with another option.Transportation experts estimate that 17% of the people in Tulsa, don't have access to an auto.So, the Tulsa Hub is giving them a chance to earn bicycle transportation with volunteer work.Executive Director, Ren Barger, says transportation is one of the greatest needs, for anyone who wants to be self sufficient."Otherwise you are stuck walking and you can imagine how much fun that would be, across town, during Tulsa in the summertime".The group offers bikes, through a program called Adult Cycling Empowerment.Those who take part, earn bikes by working in the Hub's shop and by taking a bike safety class.Then they're asked to volunteer, for a couple hours every month in the future.People who use local social service agencies like the Salvation Army also take part in the work.Barger says they enjoy the culture of the place and what they learn.Board Member Barbara Bannon says she's been impressed by what their clients experience."I've had them literally tell me this saved my life. They're getting to do things for others and creating a sense of meaning because they're working on bikes an being able to contribute."Bannon says they're working hard to grow their operation.They're looking for new board members, donors and volunteers.There are four opportunities each week, for people to help with the rebuilding used bikes.The shop is located at 601 West 3rd Street in downtown Tulsa.Their phone number is 918-813-0028.