Seth McEntee on Thursday loaded the last of 10 bicycles on a pickup that will he and other Hope House residents -- felons or addicts learning how to re-enter society -- will ride to work or donate to others.

Those were among the dozens of bicycles found over the past two years, unable to be reunited with their owners, and kept at the Casper Police Department's warehouse, said Jacci Warne, department's evidence supervisor.

Sometimes the department sells them at auctions, and sometimes it donates them, Warne said.

Besides Hope House, the other recipients were the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming, the Science Zone, and foster child care organization Natrona County Child Protection, she said.

Earlier this year, the department notified charities, took applications, and accepted these organizations, Warne said.

Science Zone representative Dawn Anderson-Coates kept upright a child's light blue bike with pretty decals but a seat worn to the foam. She said it will be restored by students in a Science Zone after-school group.

For McEntee and the six residents of Hope House on North Lincoln Street, the bicycles serve a much more practical purpose than a school project or recreation.

The house was known for a lot of drug crimes, board member Casper Police Sgt. Jeff Bullard said.

Hope House founder Vicki Orcutt bought it two-and-a-half years ago, and she rehabilitated it for men coming from the penitentiary and therapeutic communities to transition into society, Bullard added.

Each resident has an apartment, pay rent, and get their finances in order, he said. Hope House also helps residents with finding work and job interviewing skills, he said.

When inmates are released from prison or drug rehabilitation, they often don't have transportation to work, job interviews, doctors, or meetings at the 12-24 Club, Bullard said. "So this is fulfilling a very special need for our organization."

McEntee said he some other residents have transportation, so he and they will donate some bikes to other people.

"Service work is a very important part of recovery," he said. "This is showing us that Hope House is a service leadership program, so it's going to be the beginning for some of us an opportunity to be of service to the community."

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