Lending support & critical information for hurricane recovery

Post-disaster transportation and recreation support with refurbished bicycles

Andre Angelle, President – Bike Lafayette


Innovation and Description: Bike Kitchen

Our basic program involves diverting bicycles from landfills to our program so they can be refurbished or sorted for scrap by volunteers. We use our expertise on Debris management and bicycle repairs to cover the collection and refurbishing side of things, however we have $0 budget, so we need partners, Like the Low Land Center, to help cover both the cost of the repairs and the distribution of the functional bikes once ready. We are no where near fulfilling the demand for bikes or the supply of discarded bikes to process, but we are way over capacity on storage space and way low on volunteers. We hope to grow into a warehouse type space so we can handle the space required, as well as utilize a location that isn’t my personal home. The next phase, if we get a warehouse, is to start an after school program for at risk youth where they learn bike mechanics, as well as other aspects of life and business, while also earning a free bike in the process. We are very thankful for this partnership as theft is an issue so the faster they get distributed the better. we also lack the ability to handle the “verification of need” at the moment, so its nice to know our weakness is their strength.

Other Participants:

LATRAIL.org, LPSS, local volunteers

Primary Disaster Justice Benefits:

Transportation and Recreation, for both adults and children, a bike brings independence and widens the area of reach for both play and employment.

Secondary Disaster Justice Benefits:

It’s also good for the planet, as not only is riding a bike greener than a car/truck but we’ve also diverted over 3.5 tons of debris from landfills already just working from my carport. Not to mention its better for both mental and physical health as its a low impact, outdoor activity that’s free to do, and in some peoples cases, the only activity they can do, be it financial or physical limitations.

Would you recommend others (disaster survivors, disaster-impacted communities) learn more about the activity, project or program to consider adoption of a similar one?

Yes, please reach out and I’ll gladly help you start your own or let you work with us

What refinements additional to the ones you have implemented would you recommend others consider if they wish to adopt the activity, project or program?

Lots of space and at least 2 experienced bike mechanics. Expect theft to be an issue, prepare to reduce the visibility of “the pile”