Friday, February 11, 2011

What is the LIFT Boston Bike Project?

Hi all!

The LIFT Boston Bike Project is a program to provide homeless and low-income LIFT clients living in the Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston areas with free helmets, locks, and refurbished bicycles. LIFT is a nonprofit which helps combat poverty by pairing trained volunteers with homeless and low-income clients. Volunteers work one-on-one with clients on a variety of services including finding jobs and securing safe and stable housing.

The LIFT Boston Bike Project was created in response to the lack of social services for transportation in the Boston area. Over the years, volunteers noticed that many LIFT clients have been unable to access existing social services because they can not afford to take the T.  In 2008, Liz Powers, a LIFT-Cambridge volunteer, read about an impressive program in Chicago that helped provide free, sustainable transportation to community members: The Recyclery ( This nonprofit gives about 80 bikes, helmets, and locks each year to homeless individuals, refugees, and other individuals in need. Liz was inspired and decided to replicate this program!

Th LIFT Boston Bike Project launched in the fall of 2009, when 5 LIFT clients each received a helmet, lock, and bicycle. In the spring of 2010, 10 more LIFT clients received helmets, locks, and bicycles. Clients have reported that receiving a bike has helped them get back on their feet, commute to new jobs, and exercise more often. We are continuing to grow, and more clients will receive helmets, locks, and bicycles in spring of 2011.

Clients earn their bike by volunteering in the community for at least 10 hours and attending required bike safety education and basic bike maintenance training.

If you would like to get involved you can:

1. Help refurbish bikes: Come to Quad Bikes on Mondays from 7-9 P.M. to help refurbish bikes. Even if you are not a bike mechanic, you can certainly help us clean up and you can learn how to fix bikes!
  • Quad Bikes is located just outside of Harvard Square at 51 Shepard St. (at the corner of Shepard and Walker Streets)
  • Quad Bikes Phone Number: 617-496-5955
2. Donate your gently used bike! Drop off your bike Quad Bikes Tu-Sat 1-6:30 P.M. We will provide receipts for your tax-deductible donation!

3. Provide monetary donations. Please email us if you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation! Your donation will help us purchase bike parts, helmets, and locks.

If you would like to get involved and/or have any questions, please contact us at 

If you would like to learn more about LIFT, please visit our website:

Liz Powers
LIFT Boston Bike Project Founder and Director

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