HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - A Hattiesburg bike shop owner uses his love for bikes to give to those in need.
James Moore, owner of Moore’s Bicycle Shop, has been in the biking business for 35 years. He said after noticing an increase in the homeless population, he wanted to do something to help.
“Knowing their need for getting around town, a bike would’ve made a difference,” said Moore.
Moore said he regularly receives used, unwanted bikes from people in the community. He decided he wanted to put those old bikes to good use.
“We’re primarily targeting the homeless population knowing that you need a bike in order to find a job or look for a job and keep a job,” said Moore.
Moore then partnered with several organizations to find a solution.
He said those in need of transportation can go to the Edward’s Street Fellowship Center for an interview. If approved, Moore would provide them a refurbished bike for free complete with helmet, lock and lights.
The project doesn’t stop with the bikes. Avid bikers may have noticed small bike repair stations throughout the city.
Moore said if more people are going to be riding bikes, they need a way to keep them in good condition.
“They can do things such as fix a chain, fix a flat, just do minor gear adjustments and break adjustments on the bike,” said Moore.
Since the Wheels of Glory project started, he’s given away a dozen bikes and added seven repair stations throughout Hattiesburg.
“I’m just glad to be able to do it,” said Moore. “It’s not a big effort on our part, but it makes a big difference in the lives of a person who suddenly has transportation that did not.”
While he may not end homelessness, Moore said this is just his way of helping out one wheel at a time.
Moore said the bikes are not just for the homeless but anyone without transportation.
“If you know someone who is homeless or might qualify, they need to go to Edward’s Street Fellowship between 9 and 11 on the first and second Tuesday of each month," said Moore.
He said he’s not looking for bike donations. However, if you would like to help, he is accepting monetary donations for lights and locks.