Good Karma Bikes helps keep him clean and sober

Cassidy: Good Karma Bikes powers its compassion with sound business - " . . . The work helps keep him clean and sober, Matej says. It gives him focus and sharpens his mechanical skills, which he hopes will land him a job some day. "This is a safe place I can go where there are upbeat people," he says, taking a break from tuning up an 18-speed. As for Gardner's sound business fundamentals? Having a fixed location is part of that, but there is more to it -- most significant, that he's built a retail bike business to support the work that Good Karma does with the homeless. "We're of the new breed of nonprofits where we don't rely completely on the government," Gardner says. "We don't rely on donations. We're a secondhand bike shop, a full-service secondhand bike shop." Good Karma accepts donated bikes, including bikes abandoned at area college and corporate campuses. Then volunteers and Gardner, who is a certified bike mechanic, refurbish them. Once the two-wheelers are up to speed, Good Karma either gives them to the homeless or sells them to paying customers. Since moving into the building in the summer, Gardner has expanded his moneymaking pursuits. The shop sells some bike parts and accessories, it offers bike repair classes, rents work stations and does repairs at market rates. . . . "

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