Bike & Build SUS 2022
On May 20, Beaches Habitat welcomed Bike & Build, a national nonprofit committed to raising money and awareness for affordable housing, to the construction site. The Jacksonville beaches are the first stop for the team of 20 young adults as they prepare to ride their bicycles across the country on the Southern United States route.
Over the course of 10 weeks, the Southern US team will pedal an average of 70 miles per day to Santa Barbara, CA and the Pacific Ocean, arriving on August 3. Along the way, the riders will participate in 20 volunteer build days with different affordable housing organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together, and small local housing nonprofits to help build affordable homes for families in need. Riders will build in towns like New Orleans, LA, Santa Fe, NM, and Palmdale, CA among others. They will also advocate for the need for affordable homes for all Americans in the many host communities and pass-through towns along the way.
Each rider must fundraise at least $5,000 to support the trip. Much of that money is then donated to affordable housing organizations and, since 2003, Bike & Build has donated $6.6 million to varying affordable housing organizations nationwide.
“We are deeply proud of the riders who are so committed to the affordable housing cause that they are willing to raise much-needed funds and spend over two months biking across the country,” said Lauren Hamilton, Director of Outreach at Bike & Build. “Bike & Build provides the opportunity, but it is the riders who make the lasting impact in so many communities.”
The Southern US route is one of three cross-country trips Bike & Build offers each summer. In total, roughly 120 18-to-29-year-old riders will see and experience first-hand the affordable housing need in this country. In addition to volunteering with construction efforts at affordable housing sites, riders also meet with local officials and community members to discuss affordable housing issues. Riders will sleep in local churches, community centers, and schools, and will rely on the generosity of hundreds of community members for food, showers, and other necessities. When the trip is complete, many Bike & Builders have gone on to continue their commitment to service through their career choices or further volunteering.
“We are thrilled to partner with Bike & Build once again,” said Sarah Jared, Chief Operating Officer at Beaches Habitat. “It is inspiring to see so many young adults dedicate their time, energy, and resources to helping our country’s affordable housing crisis. We are grateful for the riders’ incredible work, volunteering and advocating to support housing nonprofits across the country, like Beaches Habitat. “
To learn more and support the work of Bike & Build, visit their website – bikeandbuild.org.