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Cyclists to fight uphill battle of homelessness

Team Samaritan House hopes to raise $50,000 during this summer’s Ride the Rockies event to help support Catholic Charities’ five homeless shelters in northern Colorado.

“It costs $9,000 per day just to operate Samaritan House,” said team captain and Charities’ board member Tom Schwein. “And that’s just one of five shelters!”

Other shelters run by Charities are St. Joseph’s Home for Veterans and Father Ed Judy House in Denver; Guadalupe Community Center in Greeley and The Mission in Fort Collins.

Team Samaritan House, founded by Schwein, is in its fourth year. Its 15 team members are in the process of seeking individuals and corporations to sponsor their participation in the ride that will span six days, 473 miles and 28,265 vertical feet and include summiting six mountain passes. The ride begins June 7 in Boulder and winds through Winter Park, Steamboat Springs, Avon and Breckenridge before finishing in Golden June 13.

Support as well as the size of the team continues to grow each year.

“I got my first bike when I was around 5: a (Schwinn) Sting Ray with a banana seat,” said team newcomer John Milewski, 57. “It was awesome.”

Milewski, a parishioner at Blessed Sacrament Church, joined Team Samaritan House after his experience serving the homeless and forgotten at Senior Support Services downtown and Hospice of Metro Denver.

“The homeless problem in Denver is very concerning … it saddens my heart,” he said. “I’m happy to support those in need with my time, effort and money. I hope others will provide some assistance as well, the best way they can.”

Catholic Charities’ CEO Larry Smith is also a new member to the team.

For more information or to support the riders, visit www.ccdenver.org/riderockies or call 720-377-1383.

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