WHO WE ARE
Full Cycle is a social enterprise bicycle recyclery in South Minneapolis, MN that offers support and connection to unhoused youth. Our youth employment training programs focus on the reduction of waste and redistribution of goods in an effort to support individual and community health.
Check out this short video from our friends at Twelve Plus to see our mission and impact in motion -- and to meet a few of our youth employees!
Full Cycle's mission is to connect with and support unhoused youth, our community, and our Earth through bikes, business, and relationships.
In 2002, FC Founder and Director Matt Tennant, then an outreach worker early in his career, began bringing bikes to his job at a local youth homeless shelter as a way to pass the time while working overnights. It soon became apparent that the residents of the shelter were interested and ready to learn about fixing bikes, and could also really use affordable, reliable transportation. Perhaps even more importantly, while changing a tire or cleaning a chain, young people who had been guarded or withdrawn began to open up and talk with him about their lives.
Wrenching on bikes turned into a Free Bike Program, and in 2007, Matt moved his operation to an underused garage owned by Pillsbury House + Theater, part of Pillsbury United Communities. In summer of 2008, they hired their first three young people in the first internship program and in October of 2008 quietly hung an open sign in the front window and began offering repair service and used bikes to the neighborhood, creating Full Cycle Bike Shop. Today Full Cycle gives away over 200 bikes a year to youth experiencing homelessness, and also offers a paid internship program that employs 20-24 youth a year to work in our retail shop, youth-specific food-access programming, and continues to engage youth outside of the bike shop through street-based outreach.
What started in a backyard shed has expanded and emerged as a national model of youth-entrepreneurship programs, and a level of bike sales and product comparable to other bike shops. Today, FullCycle no longer offers repair services but operates as bicycle recyclery focusing on reducing waste through the sales and recycling of donated bicycles. Earned income generated through the business supports services provided to unhoused youth including: Street Outreach, Food Access and Free Bike Appointments.
Full Cycle also provides youth employment training opportunities which include a shop apprenticeship, food access apprenticeship, and a peer outreach apprenticeship.