I often ask myself if Sox Place is still needed and a useful place for the street connected youth of downtown Denver, then a day like yesterday (and so many others) happen!
Here’s what a mother said in a recent email to me about Sox Place. Her daughter was on the streets back in 2009 and came to Sox Place often. She has since gotten off the streets and living in the NW. “I thank God for her perseverance daily and for the people like you who sustained her during the terrible times. I hope you and your family are well and please keep loving the unlovable.”
I love to bike. It’s almost a problem. At the time I had three different bicycles: a fixed gear, an older mountain bike, and a sleek road bike. Up to this point I had ridden my road bike or my fixie every single day, but my mountain bike sat unused in the courtyard of an apartment complex, suffering through torrential downpours and a lack of use. It was given to me as a gift from a friend, but it required a fair amount of work to get it up and running again. I was living in Boulder when I received the bike, so I dropped by a veloswap of sorts near the Boulder Beer brewery and picked up an old Shimano XTR rear wheel along with an 8-speed cassette saturated with years of chain grease and road grime. I snagged a used Kenda rear tire at Community Cycles for a couple bucks and got to work. I soon had the bike up and running, but it ultimately sat idle for months.
Several months later, after moving to Denver and beginning my work as part of the staff at Sox Place, I began to seriously consider selling my mountain bike since I almost never used it and was tight on money. I figured that I would be able to get a modest amount of money for it, – at least enough to pay for groceries for a couple months – but God had different plans. I started praying that I would be able to give my bike to one of the kids at Sox Place instead – someone who would truly benefit from it. The next day, I overheard Ziggy – one of the kids at Sox Place – mention that he needed a bike to get around while he was on work-release from jail. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly my prayer had been answered. I had met Ziggy a few times before and knew his story well enough to know that his life had changed drastically during the 8 years that he was in prison. I knew that giving him my mountain bike would help greatly, especially with his job search.
A week later, after getting a much-needed new seatpost for the bike and tuning it up once again, I was able to ride out to Northfield with Jordan to Marco’s Pizza, where Ziggy had recently been hired to work full time. He was ecstatic to finally be able to see the bike I had mentioned to him a week prior; especially in knowing that it was completely his. Jordan, Doyle, and I sat and listened as Ziggy ate a large slice of pepperoni pizza and told us about his new job. I learned that he would be out on parole within the next month, and that he hopes to be able to find an apartment in the near future. Even despite the short amount of the time that I have been here at Sox Place, I have had the opportunity to see one amazing success story, and I hope to see more.
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