The Better Bike Share Partnership (BBSP) is an effort led by the City of Philadelphia that works to ensure that Indego bike share is accessible to all Philadelphians. The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is a nonprofit advocacy and education organization working as part of the Better Bike Share Partnership to support bike share and biking education. The Better Bike Share Partnership is funded by the JPB Foundation.
Ambassador DeWayne Drummond from Mantua Civic Association has teamed up with Youth Service Inc. (YSI) and the Better Bike Share Partnership for a community ride event in hopes to bring awareness to youth homelessness, and a happy smile to their program Youth Emergency Service (YES).
The ride began at the Youth Service Inc. on 410 N. 34th Street. As the youth waited for the ride to begin they worked together to hand out colorful flyers to people who passed by on the street. The YES staff and youth collaborated to invited their neighbors to join the movement and to join the community ride.
“The whole point of this ride, initially, was just for the kids to have a fun Saturday. Being able to ride bikes is something we take for granted,” said Maurice Hayman, marketing manager of Youth Service Inc. “Having access to bikes and riding with the kids down the park trails allows us to create more unity and a family environment for the children while developing a movement.”
Youth Service Inc. is a non-profit organization that has been open for 65 years. The organization focuses on strengthening families, while providing shelter for homeless and runaway teens. They offer youth, family and children supportive services as well as a 24-hour emergency care for young children, parenting skill classes and counseling, along with truancy prevention services while simultaneously advocating to bring awareness to teen homelessness.
“We get so caught up in our day-to-day lives that we don’t realize that there are teens who don’t have homes,” Hayman said, adding that bringing awareness to youth homelessness through his community and the city is one of the organization’s goals. “We really hope to work more with the Better Bike Share and Indego to increase awareness, and be able to do a fundraiser for the whole city. Our idea is to create events where we gather the community to do walks, rides, and active events that allow us to increase awareness.”
Hayman continued: “If you think about it, there aren’t many organizations or people working to bring awareness to the issue of youth homelessness so we as a whole continue to overlook the problem.”
The ride took place at Broad and Fairmount and traveled across the Art Museum and back around where the youth and the adults snapped a photo at the Rocky Statue. The Better Bike Share Partnership looks forward to working with the amazing youth, the mentors of the program, and the community. We hope that we can help bring more awareness to youth homelessness as well working to build community and put a smile one the faces of the youth in YES.