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While Wayne Bailey was in prison he made plans to stay clean, sober, and crime-free so that his addiction wouldn’t drag him back to prison ever again. He says that coming to Sponsors was a key component in achieving those goals.
Wayne is an experienced motorcycle mechanic, but like most people releasing from prison, he faces barriers to obtaining a driver’s license. “I didn’t want to work on a bike I couldn’t ride.” So, he turned to bicycles. Helping other people at Sponsors fix their bikes “just seemed like the thing to do.” It also occupied his time and kept him focused on the path he envisioned for himself while in prison.
Getting around town takes time, and it’s a challenge to coordinate public transportation to align with the demanding schedule of a Sponsors participant. Biking allows people to regain independence, so they don’t need to plan around a ride or coordinate bus transfers.
The success of Wayne’s self-driven project inspired us to expand our program to loan bikes to people living at Sponsors. In 2015 we turned an old storage shed into a bike shop that Wayne designed, and we currently have forty bikes loaned out at any given time. Wayne assigns bikes and bike locks, and he makes use of spare bike parts and workstations on hand to teach participants how to maintain them. He organizes volunteers, most of whom are currently living at Sponsors, to help him work on bikes when the need is more than one person can manage.
When he isn’t helping folks in the bike barn or volunteering with the Sponsors Mentorship Program, Wayne stays busy enjoying his retirement, and the company of his grandkids in sobriety.
Do you have an old bike (even a broken one) you’ve been waiting to get out of the garage? Why not repurpose it to help someone in need? Sponsors gratefully accepts donations of bikes, parts, and accessories in any condition. To donate, please bring your bike-related items to our Roosevelt Crossing facility located at 338 Highway 99 North.