Lazaro Quinones, Detroit

Published on May 28, 2024

I’m 70 and I’m not even thinking about retirement. I’ve biked to work for the last 16 months. You can’t imagine how much I needed the new electric bike to get to work. Thank you all so much, I really appreciate it. It was my special birthday gift this year.

Best thing I got is the job at Goodwill’s Green Works. I love my job. As long as God gives me strength, I will do my job.

I work every day and Saturday, sometimes Sunday, till late. Everybody at the company says, ‘You’re amazing,’ but I need the money. Then people say, ‘We can’t believe an old man does the job of two or three people.’ Working Saturdays and Sundays is the only way to put money in my pocket. I need it because I’ve got family to take care of.

I came from Cuba a long time ago. Two weeks ago, my mom died in Cuba. I had to send money from the rent of my new house, the $2,500 that I was saving, I had to send $1,000 right away for the funeral. I told the new landlord, ‘I got a situation over here, I’ll give you $1,500 now and then I’ll give you the rest later,’ and he agreed with that.

It’s not easy when you are alone out here. ALICE? That’s me. I don’t have much money and I need help. I live for what I’m making. You get one paycheck, and everything’s gone. Every time you go to the store, everything’s gone—right away everything’s gone. The only way I can put a little money in the checking is working overtime.

It’s hard being alone, I have no family here. Everybody needs somebody to listen.

On May 15, Lazaro was given a new electric bike with accessories from Detroit’s Greenway Coalition’s Bikes4Employees program partnering with his workplace, Goodwill’s Green Works. Bikes4Employees is a pilot project of Detroit’s Financial Well-Being Innovation Challenge. The electric bike will make his long commute to work easier.