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article imageFirst Green Gym In Nation For Homeless

By Laura Trowbridge     Feb 2, 2010 in Environment
Cass Community Social Services of Detroit has opened the first of its kind "green" workout gym for the homeless of their community.
Known as the "Green Gym", the facility is the first in the nation to offer the homeless a place to use exercise equipment while generating electricity. Using the trademarked Green Revolution Technology , ten stationary bikes can generate electricity into Cass' power grid.
Rev. Faith Fowler, Cass' executive director, said: "I read a publication about a for-profit gym using the Green Revolution bikes to create electricity and I began to think about the benefits the bikes could bring to the people at Cass - helping residents, staff and volunteers improve their health, and reduce their stress, while reducing the need for electricity and raising environmental awareness."
Six months after the concept the gym was ready to be opened. The project cost $35,000, but was raised through various sources. Sofas, lockers, a ping pong table, pool table, treadmill, weights, and a boxing station were either recycled or donated. The expenses were for the ten stationary bikes, equipment to convert the generated electricity, wall and floor materials, and paint.
While one cyclist can generate enough power to run two laptop computers for an hour, a four-times daily class of ten cyclists in each class can power the lights in 36 homes for a month, or three homes for an entire year.
The use of the Green Gym facility is available only to the 240 homeless people who live in Cass and the 100 staff members plus loyal volunteers. The gym is staffed by volunteers and is open Monday - Saturday.
Rev. Fowler claimed, “Not only is this gym a good idea for the environment, but it will help build the general health of our clients who often struggle with diabetes or heart disease associated with obesity and weight gain."
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