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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 9:06 AM
Updated: Apr 28, 2021 11:00 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

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 387485

Reported Deaths: 5116
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah59768836
Washington41571393
Marion39592504
Clackamas32426376
Lane29856354
Jackson24672350
Deschutes23182185
Umatilla15087180
Linn14488178
Douglas13236286
Josephine10057240
Yamhill9665142
Klamath8979145
Polk813698
Benton605137
Malheur591586
Coos5573106
Columbia423855
Jefferson416865
Lincoln357252
Union336854
Crook330156
Wasco314846
Clatsop258335
Baker217531
Tillamook214345
Hood River211337
Morrow197025
Curry190136
Harney119332
Grant108314
Lake104016
Wallowa74713
Sherman1903
Gilliam1844
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5057759

Reported Deaths: 74098
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152224027074
San Diego4047084319
Riverside3849455306
San Bernardino3718825944
Orange3329505675
Sacramento1674002423
Kern1565171781
Fresno1558992246
Santa Clara1511691922
Alameda1246581499
San Joaquin1070001833
Ventura1036461188
Contra Costa1032921045
Stanislaus910641413
Tulare856141082
San Francisco56614669
San Mateo56058627
Monterey52340625
Solano47422356
Santa Barbara47035548
Merced44807664
Sonoma42912412
Placer41881468
Imperial38128769
Kings35038358
San Luis Obispo31294358
Madera26005311
Shasta25917440
Butte25295309
Santa Cruz22028222
Yolo21451257
Marin18342248
El Dorado18166161
Sutter14494181
Napa13372104
Yuba1070088
Tehama10230129
Humboldt10043117
Nevada9914103
Mendocino848894
Lassen792355
San Benito775977
Tuolumne767790
Lake6990110
Amador573766
Siskiyou470954
Glenn455136
Calaveras435685
Del Norte371242
Colusa323519
Inyo254345
Plumas19127
Mono18294
Mariposa156718
Trinity98817
Modoc7475
Unassigned2430
Sierra2170
Alpine1060
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