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Local non-profit working to keep kids off the street and teach a trade

'You don't have to get high to ride low,' says Familia Unida.

Posted: Jul 16, 2019 10:37 AM
Updated: Jul 16, 2019 10:42 AM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Lowriding is a way of life that has taken root in Southern Oregon through a local bike club, Familia Unida. Started by Rico Gutierrez, Familia Unida Bike Program give kids in the community a place to go to find belonging while also learning a trade.

As a former gang member, Gutierrez saw a need for a safe space for kids. He wanted to create a program that could help kids reach goals and establish skills that can be transferred to the workplace.

10 years ago, Gutierrez started Familia Unida Car Club, which focused on rebuilding and restoring cars. Then, three years ago he created Familia Unida Bike Program, which is focused on rebuilding and restoring bikes. The program’s motto is “you don’t have to get high to ride low” and that’s what they are working to achieve.

Kids who participate in the program work on donated bikes and cars, gaining experience in body work and basic mechanics. The completed bikes and cars and then taken around the state and shown in car shows. Recently, Familia Unida took home first place at a show in Salem.

Right now, there are about 66 kids a week that show up to work on their projects.

“The goal of the organization is to see the kids that we are mentoring right now become the mentors as they move on from bikes to cars and then they will help take care of the kids that are moving up in the program,” explains Gutierrez.

For those involved in the program, it’s more than just finding something fun to do or learning a new skill, it’s a family that is coming together to keep kids off the streets and give them opportunities; to spark interest in something that can carry them through life.

On Saturday, July 20, Familia Unida will be hosting the grand opening of their first shop. The event is open to the public from 12:00p.m. to 4:00p.m. All families welcome.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 30801

Reported Deaths: 526
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Multnomah6818130
Marion444790
Washington428958
Umatilla291341
Clackamas225661
Malheur152723
Jackson10394
Lane96415
Deschutes76912
Yamhill73814
Jefferson5138
Polk50215
Morrow4886
Lincoln47213
Linn46613
Union4352
Benton2856
Klamath2732
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Wasco2343
Douglas2093
Josephine1832
Columbia1541
Coos1380
Clatsop1170
Baker902
Crook601
Tillamook480
Lake280
Wallowa281
Curry270
Sherman180
Harney120
Gilliam80
Grant80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 786168

Reported Deaths: 15016
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2607976353
Riverside566811153
San Bernardino52471908
Orange520631128
San Diego44577760
Kern31379354
Fresno27668355
Sacramento21297375
Alameda20558374
Santa Clara20410296
San Joaquin19793414
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Imperial11558314
San Francisco1074599
San Mateo9522143
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Santa Barbara8862110
Merced8750134
Kings728377
Sonoma7060114
Marin6557112
Solano608555
Madera429658
Placer346641
San Luis Obispo336927
Butte274835
Yolo274754
Santa Cruz22188
Sutter164210
Napa161413
San Benito130111
Yuba11187
El Dorado10684
Mendocino84918
Lassen7310
Shasta68714
Glenn5503
Colusa5096
Nevada5066
Tehama4984
Humboldt4826
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Calaveras31114
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