OAR of Richmond, Outpost Richmond join forces in “Ride to Re-Entry”
OAR of Richmond and Outpost Richmond are pleased to announce a new partnership to bring mobility to Richmond’s neediest and hardest-working residents: its employed citizens returning from incarceration. The “Ride to Re-entry” provides select OAR clients with bicycles, locks, lights, and helmets, as well as bike maintenance and bike safety courses. This partnership seeks to overcome a fundamental obstacle of re-entry: transportation.
Transportation is one of the greatest challenges our clients face, explains OAR Executive Director Sara Conlon. While getting a job is difficult for our clients, getting to that job might be even harder. The bus system doesn’t currently connect to the suburban jobs in the region, and even if our clients are lucky enough to get a friend or relative to drive them to work, that’s not sustainable arrangement. This partnership with Outpost Richmond allows our clients to get to work by their own power. It’s transformative.
Braden Govoni, owner of Outpost Richmond, agrees. The whole point of Outpost Richmond is to help people see bikes as tools instead of toys. Yes, bikes are fun, but they allow you to get to work or school or the grocery store without the burden of owning a car. Our partnership with OAR reinforces our mission—that bicycles provide a means to re-imagining your capabilities.
OAR clients apply to the “Ride-to-Re-entry” program after fulfilling the individual requirements for cognitive behavior therapy and job training required by their OAR case managers. These selected clients then take a series of bike maintenance and bike safety courses co-taught by OAR and Outpost Richmond staff. Once these courses are completed, the clients receive their bikes, along with an accompanying lock, helmet, and set of lights.
Bicycles for “Ride to Re-entry” arrive through Outpost Richmond. Outpost Richmond refurbishes donated bicycles and ensures they are in good working condition. Richmonders who donate bicycles receive $50 in store credit towards a new bicycle as well as a tax-deduction for the value of the bicycle.
Sponsor and individual support opportunities are also available. For more information, please contact Sara Conlon at (804) 643-2746.
About OAR of Richmond
Operating since 1974, OAR (Opportunity Alliance Re-entry) of Richmond provides pre- and post-release services to those who have been incarcerated and are working through the difficult process of re-entry. The non-profit organization serves approximately 4,200 clients per year.