Free bikes help refugees settle in Houston

"Transportation is one of the big issues facing refugees when they arrive in Houston, they're expected to go to work almost immediately."

A retiree is helping the newest Houstonians get settled in their new lives, and he's doing it by helping them get around town.

These new Houstonians are refugees who are from all over the world, escaping persecution or war-torn countries.

They are eager to start their new lives in the city, but they often have no way to get around other than public transportation.

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A charity called Freewheels Houston is trying to help. It operates out of a warehouse in southwest Houston.

"Transportation is one of the big issues facing refugees when they arrive in Houston, they're expected to go to work almost immediately," says Bill Mintz, a retired newspaper reporter who is the founder and operator of the organization.

He says they’ve given away around 300 bikes in the past two years to refugees.

"They work, and a bike is one of the ways they get started in Houston," says Mintz.

The bikes are donated to the organization. Volunteers assemble the new ones and fix the used ones.

"I think here at Freewheels, every time we give away a bike, we're starting a new success story, one bicycle at a time,” says Dean Chagaris, a volunteer.

Freewheels Houston relies on donations. But right now, the organization can really use some volunteers. If you’d like to help, visit here.