A few years ago, Jim Gardner started fixing the bikes of homeless people in San Jose's St. James park for free. He worked out of the truck of his car. This month, Good Karma Bikes moves into a facility big enough to hold one hundred cars.
There are many people happy that Good Karma Bikes has moved into the old industrial building at 345 Sunol Street in San Jose.
The buildings owner is happy. The cavernous, warehouse-like structure is actually scheduled to be demolished in a few years to make way for a housing complex. Finding a tenant to live with that understanding can't be easy.
Jim Gardner is certainly happy. The founder of Good Karma Bikes began fixing the bicylces of homeless people for free a few years ago in San Jose's St. James Park. Back then, he worked with a set of tools he kept in the trunk of his car. With his new, 8,000 square foot space, he could not only fit more than one hundred cars, but he can help many more people.
The clients of Good Karma Bikes are happy. They are mostly homeless and low-income people for whom a bicycle is their main form of transportation. They use it to find work, get groceries, and go to the doctor. They can't afford to pay a bike shop to fix something when it breaks. The mechanics at Good Karma, though, will not only fix it for free, but teach the bikes owners how to do it for themselves.
Perhaps happiest of all, Gardner says, is his wife. After years of housing all his mechanic tools and equipment at their home, she has her backyard back.
To see our story about Good Karma Bikes new home, watch Garvin Thomas' story above.