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Stockton Bicycle Ministry Helping People Find Jobs, Housing

STOCKTON (CBS13) — A group in Stockton is helping people find jobs and housing with a program that is getting them from point A to point B.

It's called HUB, short for Helping Urban Bicyclists.

In the heart of downtown Stockton, Deacon Stephen Bently is fixing one problem after another.

A little over two years ago, he transformed an old storefront owned by his church, St. John's Episcopal into a bicycle ministry known as the HUB.

"The passion comes from just being a deacon frankly, I know that part of my role as a deacon is to minster to the people that have particular needs and in this case, the need is seeing what is missing in this community and transportation was the thing that was missing," said Bently.

Bentley is repairing people's bicycles for free, and, from time to time, he's also building them from scratch. He does it so those less fortunate have one less thing to worry about.

"They know the value of what they are getting because when they go to a shop and they have to pay $50 or $60 for a repair, that is money out of their pocket they could use for something else—food, clothing, and basic needs—and that is a huge savings for people who are trying to survive on the street," he said.

So far, the deacon has worked on 250 bikes, including a bicycle belonging to Ghafoor Kahn, 50, who is working to get back on his feet.

"I rely on my bike a lot. I'm trying to find a job and stuff so, it's pretty good help for me," said Kahn.

Although broken bicycles are mainly fixed at HUB, there have been times where a spare bike or two have been given to someone in dire need of hope.

"It's a good help, you know a good help because right now my financial, I'm doing kind of bad, so it's going to be a good help for me," he said.

Several clients, the deacon says, have managed to find work and eventually save up to buy cars. Some have returned to the shop to donate their own bikes in order to help others around the community.

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