Detroit is not exactly the best place to live right now. It’s been listed as one of the ten fastest dying cities, and as of last month, city officials claimed that the unemployment rate in Detroit is close to 50%.
However, the situation has just improved a bit for one group in Detroit: the homeless.
Earlier this week, a new gym opened up in the city that is devoted specifically to homeless people. The facility has been dubbed The Green Gym because the exercise equipment actually generates electricity that can be used to power the city. In this way, the homeless are actually giving back to Detroit, while simultaneously getting the benefits of a good workout. It’s a win-win.
According to ABC News, The Green Gym was the brainchild of Cass Community Social Services, an organization that deals with poverty in the city. The gym will come equipped with boxing bags, a treadmill and two weight machines, as well as ten bicycles that produce electricity when used. It will be open to more than 200 homeless people. (According to some estimates, there are about 18,000 homeless people currently in Detroit.)
This fitness center is also part of a larger trend in dealing with homelessness. According to USA Today, “Most homeless shelters are drab, old buildings, but more are going green as local governments and community groups seek to save money by building new energy-efficient facilities or retrofitting old ones.” Cities like Oakland and Chicago have already installed new, beautiful hi-tech shelters. In Chicago’s shelter, the homeless actually have a greenhouse where they can grow food.