Community partnerships are the key to success as citizens and leaders of the Tampa Bay region work to make bicycling an accessible mode of transportation throughout the area. The Bike/Walk Tampa Bay coalition’s connection to the Kenneth City Police Department is one of these valued and important partnerships, and we want to recognize the work they are doing with another community partner, Pinellas Hope. Pinellas Hope is a homeless shelter that began its work in 2007. The shelter was, at first, temporary—but over a decade later the organization continues to grow and provide a range of services in Pinellas County.
For instance, Pinellas Hope provides people with supportive apartments and goals-based case management, and they have hosted frequent WalkWise and BikeSmart presentations. The Kenneth City Police Department recently began providing people who live at the shelter with bicycles as a mode of transportation. “During the course of the year we find bicycles whose owners we cannot trace. We hold these bicycles for 90 days, and if they are still unclaimed after that time, we prepare them for donation,” says Kenneth City Chief of Police Kevin Riley. “We are happy to support Pinellas Hope because they help and care for others by fostering independence; transportation is a means to independence, and we feel these unclaimed bikes have found a good, productive, local home.”
The Kenneth City Police Department has been donating bicycles steadily over the past year and a half and will continue to do so in 2018; each time they feel the donations strengthen the community. They pass the bicycles on to Pinellas Hope because the organization is in a position to place them directly in the hands of those who can realize the benefits of accessible and affordable transportation most, Chief Riley says. “These bicycles serve as a support tool for those who are attempting to regain their place in life, and we hope our agency’s donations will aid in that journey.”