Christopher Fitz is preparing for a tour project that combines his concern for people who are homeless with his passion for biking.
Fitz, a York County native who now lives in Marietta, Lancaster County, plans to do a weeklong Homeless Horizons Bike Tour.
Fitz, director of development at Harrisburg-based Brethren Housing Association, began his bike tour at his office on Sunday. He'll ride more than 200 miles through Lancaster, Lebanon, York, Adams and Cumberland counties. His ride will conclude Sunday at his office.
Fitz, 38, said he is doing the tour to help launch the association's 20/20 Vision fundraising campaign to raise $2.25 million to help more families in the Harrisburg area.
The tour also is designed to raise public awareness of homelessness in the central Pennsylvania region, Fitz said. The economic downtown and the lack of affordable housing have caused increased homelessness, he said.
Fitz said he also wants to encourage community agencies and municipal officials to develop a "combined community response to homelessness."
Stopping in York: Fitz said he is scheduled to arrive in York County on Wednesday. He'll be riding through Red Lion to downtown York, where he'll hold a 4 p.m. press conference about the tour at the Colonial Court House, 157 W. Market St.
"For the press conference, I plan to talk on homelessness awareness and the kinds of privileges we may take for granted," Fitz said. "We're raising empathy for those among us in the community that are homeless. We must think about the least of these among us and not just me, me, me."
Fitz, who grew up in Lower Windsor Township, said he also will give a presentation at York
Friends Meeting House, 135 W. Philadelphia St. in York City. He said he might sleep there overnight.
He'll ride from York to Gettysburg on Thursday, he said.
Fitz said that during his tour he might sleep in churches and shelters. People are invited to bike with him, though they don't have to stay overnight.
A bike enthusiast, Fitz said he rides his bike from home to work several times a week as weather permits. Doing a bike tour to bring attention to homelessness in the region also is a lesson for him, Fitz said.
"This will help me learn about other efforts that are successful in addressing homelessness and poverty in central Pennsylvania," he said. "I want to help to shine a light on the reality of homelessness, not just for my own learning, but for everyone I come in contact with."
-- Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at 505-5438 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To participate in the Homeless Horizons Bike Tour, discuss biking plans with Christopher Fitz at 233-6016.
Fitz is scheduled to hold a press conference at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Colonial Court House, 157 W. Market St. in York City. At 7 p.m. Wednesday, he will give a presentation at York Friends Meeting House, 135 W. Philadelphia St. in the city.