EPIC Empath Faces Epic Struggle with SMART Ride Shutdown

Photo via Empath Partners in Care, Facebook.

“The ride is ending as quickly as it started for us.” EPIC Empath is a relative newcomer to the SMART Ride community. This month’s ride is only their second as a full participant. But results were immediate.

“It has made such an impact,” Joy Winheim, EPIC’s executive director, said. “I didn’t realize how much of an impact it was going to make.”

Their year as a partial participant saw them receive $60,000. Their full participation last year saw nearly $151,000. The money helps EPIC carry on their mission to ease housing insecurity.

“If you don’t have stable housing, it affects everything,” Winheim said.

She said it’s the top barrier to care. Patients can’t focus on getting to appointments or taking meds when their immediate concern is finding a place for the night.

EPIC’s teams of riders, crew, and volunteers are looking to the future and continuing their fundraising apparatus. They’ve done bingo nights, drag shows, and more.

“Over the last two years, what an amazing job these teams have done to raise money for SMART Ride and Epic. I’m overwhelmed by what they’ve done,” Winheim gushed.

“I was so devastated,” she said about learning the end was near. “We had such momentum going.”

But she says the spirit of their work will go on. Winheim is talking with the other benefiting organizations about ideas going forward.

“We are committed to exploring something locally and something with the other organizations. I don’t know what it’s gonna look like. We’re focused on making this year the best it can be.”


SMART Ride Ends; Our Continuing Coverage


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