Release Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville:

Charlottesville, VA: Bike & Build is a national nonprofit raising money and awareness for affordable housing. On Tuesday, June 4, Bike & Build’s Central United States team is pedaling into Charlottesville where members will build affordable homes with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville at the Harmony Ridge neighborhood and volunteer at The Habitat Store on Harris Street. Other members will volunteer with Albemarle Housing Improvement (AHIP) and The Haven. The Bike & Build team is made up of 32 teammates from ages 18-26.

“We’re so excited to have a Bike & Build team ride through Charlottesville and be able to work with Habitat,” says Kim Purdy, Community Engagement Program Manager at Habitat for Humanity who is also an alum of Bike & Build. “Having pedaled across the country with Bike & Build, I know how impactful it can be to see so many communities back-to-back. This trip presents a unique opportunity to learn more about the spectrum of affordable housing needs in our nation while also allowing riders to build community relationships. We’re excited to share our approach to building mixed-income developments here in Charlottesville and how our Habitat Store benefits the local community.”

The journey began on May 29, when the team reported to Yorktown, Va. Over the next 11 weeks, the Central U.S. team will pedal an average of 66 miles per day to Portland, Ore. and the Pacific Ocean, arriving on August 12. Along the way, the riders will participate in volunteer build days with affordable housing organizations like Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville, Rebuilding Together, and small local housing nonprofits to help build affordable homes for families. Riders will build in Charlottesville, Evansville, Missoula, and Portland and other towns in addition to participating in Affordable Housing Days featuring activities and discussions with guest speakers. 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.

Prior to the trip, each member of the team raised at least $5,000 and spent at least 15 hours volunteering on a build site with a local affordable housing organization. Much of the money is then donated to affordable housing organizations; since 2003 Bike & Build has donated $6.6 million to affordable housing organizations nationwide. To support the Central US team, visit their fundraising page at https://www.classy.org/give/t197828/#!/donation/checkout

“We are deeply proud of our riders, they 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 Lily Goldberg, Director of Outreach. “Bike & Build provides the opportunity, but it is the riders who make the lasting impact in so many communities.”

The Central U.S. route is one of three cross-country trips Bike & Build offers each summer. Approximately 180 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. 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 continued their commitment to service through their careers or further volunteering.