Mercy Pedalers is an organization founded by Sr. Libby Fernandez, RSM to serve those experiencing homelessness in Sacramento. Volunteers ride through the city on tricycles and meet folks where they're at, with coffee, snacks, toiletries, flashlights, and much needed smiles.
I met Sr. Libby when I worked at the capitol when she would come to give the invocation before session. I wanted to talk to her because I of course wanted to see her, but I also wanted to learn more about those facing and experiencing homelessness in the region to help build on what I had learned in Lincoln with the wonderful volunteers of Adopt-a-Creek.
So this morning, I rode out with her, and as is always the situation when visiting the homeless, theory is WAY different than reality. Yes, there is drug addiction and mental illness, but there are also people who work jobs that are living in hotels for $400 a week trying to save up several thousands of dollars to afford first and last months rent, deposit, AND a $52 background check in a market where the cheapest rent is approximately $1300 a month and evictions are high (read "Eviction by Matthew Desmond for more on that situation).
I also learned today that Mercy Pedalers have expanded into Placerville, and I will definitely be checking them out!
On an embarrassing side note, Dennis and I ride our bikes often. Dennis is an avid mountain biker and I just tootle around Roseville. But riding a giant electric tricycle is a whole other game. I am humbled to admit it took a while to get acclimated. There were WAY too many times I thought I was going to end up tipped over into the gutter.
Click here to learn more about Mercy Pedalers