Good Karma was when a Silicon Valley engineer left startups in 2009 to help San Jose's working homeless population. Jim Gardner offered to repair bicycles free of charge so folks staying at InnVision's shelter (Julian Street and Hwy 87) would have reliable transportation to their job.
Fast forward to 2014 and see how big the movement has grown! Good Karma is now a full blown bike shop charity where you can buy, donate, volunteer to help the less fortunate with healthy free bicycle transportation, training and transitional employment.
Students looking for community service hours need to be 13 years or older to volunteer. Good Karma will teach you everything you need to know about repairing bicycles.
You'll be amazed at how shop manager Jim Affrunti juggles it all! They have a store with bicycles for all wages. They sell some basic riding gear and accessories (racks, locks, helmets). They have a full repair shop and can even let you rent a work bench if you want to work on your own bike. It has a very cool vibe and a diverse age and socio economic range!
If you visit there are three doors. The one in the parking lot is for the free clinics. The first big side door is for folks paying for bike repair and the second big side door is for folks shopping the store.
While it would be great to see this old cannery warehouse preserved as Good Karma's Community Center, I don't think it is likely. Good Karma will eventually have to relocate to make room for mid-town high density housing.
Too bad because the need for transitional employment and affordable housing is at an all time high. Not sure another high end gated condoplex with a Google or Apple bus stop like the nearby Elements is the only option for a diverse well balanced community. After all Good Karma is about the ethical choices that determines one's next existence. So stop by to buy, repair or donate your bike today and get your own little bit of Good Karma. Trust me, you'll feel better!
Good Karma Bikes
345 Sunol Street
San Jose, CA 95126
Donating my college bike of 27 years in hopes that it brings Good Karma to its next owner.