Chicago law firm donates 25 bicycles to homeless youth

CHICAGO (WLS) -- "When we come here we're not used to thinking about our childhood. Some people describe it as a survival mode," said 19-year-old Kayla Wells, referring to the Belfort House where she currently lives.

Part of Teen Living Programs, or TLP, this Bronzeville youth housing center provides temporary living space to homeless youth aged 14 to 24.

On Giving Tuesday, Chicago law firm Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr hoped to bring smiles to these struggling youths' faces with brand new bicycles to ride-more than two dozen donated to Belfort House by the firm.

"It reminds me of when I was younger, when I was happier," Wells added.

Each of the 25 new bikes came personalized with a hand written note from the attorneys.

"We wanted to give them a note of inspiration, let them know how proud we are that they've reached out for help through TLP," explained Toby Eveland, who is a partner at the law firm as well as a member of TLP's board of directors.

Eveland and TLP Executive Director Jeri Linas stressed that an important part of that aid is independence.

"When you think about a bike you think about a certain sense of freedom," said Linas, referring to the ability to explore alone and with a group of friends on bikes. Linas pointed out that lacking transportation can also prevent homeless youths from getting an education or a job.

But now, teens and young adults at the Belfort House can explore as far as their feet will pedal.
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.