Columbia County Sheriff asking for bike donations

HUDSON – Bertram Downes is the head of ReEntry Columbia, an organization that helps people with life after prison or jail with everything from finances, to education, family, and jobs.

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“Transportation is very scarce in this area, as far as public transportation,” he said.

“Having employment is very important. It’s already hard enough for guys to get employment, but it makes it harder when they get employment and then don’t have a way to get there.”

Bikes can make a difference in being able to get to and from work, and to keep a job.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Department donated bicycles, last year.

“It was great because those gentlemen ended up working, they ended up going on to buy their own vehicles and eventually would get their own apartments,” said Downes. “So it’s the catalyst basically for employment in this area, transportation.”

“Every bike that we donated was utilized and it was so successful they came back to us this year to say ‘Hey, do you have any more bicycles,'” Columbia County Undersheriff Jaqueline Salvatore said.

The department has a few children’s bikes now, but none for adults, so they put out a call for donations to help people get their lives back on track after being released.

A bike that’s sitting unused in your house could make a difference.

“It allows them the opportunity to provide for their families, provide for themselves, to get stabilized upon their release and to continue being part of the community,” said Columbia County Sheriff Don Krapf.

“Whatever we can do to assist in reducing the rates of recidivism and helping people get their lives back in order, we’re on board for, and this is just a small part of it,” said Salvatore.

People can drop the bikes off at the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department.