Best Of 2008

BEST HOMELESS HANDOUT: Homeless Emergency Project’s Freewheel Program

A new (or repaired) set of wheels is the gift of Homeless Emergency Projects Freewheel Program.

Late last year, the staff at the Homeless Emergency Project faced a stark reality: Many of its clients, who are struggling to get back on their feet, had no transportation to work. So they created the Freewheel Bike Project, a bicycle repair shop and distribution program for homeless adults and children. Currently, Freewheel only serves HEP clients, who upon proving need are given a voucher for a free bicycle, bike lock, night-lights and helmet. But if the project continues to be a success — HEP estimates nearly 500 people have received bicycles so far — it could spread to the rest of Pinellas County’s downtrodden. 1120 North Betty Lane, Clearwater, 727-442-9041,