It may not look like much, but the Cass Community Social Services (CASS) Green Gym bears a special distinction: It's the first workout facility in the U.S. designed for the homeless.
The Detroit gym contains standard equipment (boxing bags, a treadmill, weight machines) in addition to a series of Green Revolution Technology-enabled stationary bikes that generate electricity from motion and direct power back to Cass's power grid. In a single workout, a cyclist can generate enough energy to power two laptops for an hour.
Upon its opening this week, the Green Gym will be available to the 240 homeless Detroit residents living in Cass's facilities. Eventually, the gym will offer fitness classes as well.
It may seem strange for Cass to spend valuable resources on maintaining a gym for its residents, but the luxury of fitness is something that many of us take for granted. And while its hard to care about the environment when you don't have food on the table, Cass's green bikes allow residents to make a measurable impact without wasting time or money—and that's something most people, homeless or not, wish they could do.