Build Futures is a local non-profit whose mission statement is to help homeless youth ages 18 to 24 in Orange County "by connecting them with a one-on-one supportive relationship, stable housing, resources, and a customized self-sufficiency plan to become independent, contributing members of our community." When I looked at their website, I was surprised about some of the facts concerning youth homelessness. For example, Orange County has the second highest per-capita homelessness in the country. In fact, there are 25,000 documented homeless students that attend public schools in Orange County! The age group that Build Futures focuses on, 18-24, is hit the hardest by the recession and is often overlooked by support services. Saddest of all, up to 90% of the homeless population in Orange County have no housing available to them night after night.
Build Futures is trying to get these kids off the streets, employed and become self-sufficient. On September 10th, they opened up a used bike shop for the program Bikes Build Futures right here in Orange. This bike shop employs these homeless kids, teaches them basic job skills, gives them a pay check and most importantly, gives them the ability to apply basic life skills to help themselves into a better situation. This program relies on a constant stream of donations of gently used bikes that the kids can recondition in order for them to be resold to the public. You can do your part in helping end homelessness in Orange County by donating used bikes on the second Saturday of each month from 9am-12pm at their store. Arrangements can also be made for bike pickups if needed.
Bikes Build Futures is located at 2454A North Glassell, Orange, CA 92865.