When Bike & Build riders dip their tires in the Atlantic Ocean, they stand on the line that divides earth and sky. Horizons are a picturesque, barefaced visualization of possibility, distance, and the unknown and as riders pause for this small ceremony it is easy to compare their backdrop to what lies ahead on the road. Three months later, those same riders will run in to the Pacific together, and their sightline will never be as simple or as expressive. Over the course of 4,000 hard pedaled miles, the horizon remained unchanged but the riders’ vantage point is new and raw in its strength- broadened and more deeply understood.
Our trips challenge riders to find the relationship between visible and true horizons. The subject matter crosses nearly every realm - physical, integral, impact, and identity being just a few. “Can I ride 117 miles in a day?”, “Who knew I could learn so much from a Grandmother in Nebraska?”, “How and to whom can we best allocate the money we fundraised?”, “What is my influence now and what could it be?”, “What is next?”.
The answers to those questions compose Bike & Build’s enduring impact.
The Bike & Build Board of Directors and staff are tremendously proud of the nearly 330 young adults who participated in Bike & Build in 2014. We continue to be inspired by our riders who remain committed to a lifetime of service, the housing organizations and low-income families that we support, and the host communities that advocate with us. Every person touched by Bike & Build has their own vista, but the composition is the same: more affordable homes for our fellow citizens, and more opportunities for young adults to continue serving to make it so.
There are a wealth of vantage points in the thousands of miles between Atlantic and Pacific and we are excited to share with you just a few in this 2014 Annual Report.
Maine to Santa Barbara
Portland, ME → Santa Barbara, CA
North Carolina to San Diego
Nags Head, NC → San Diego, CA
Portsmouth, NH → Vancouver, BC
Providence to California
Providence, RI → Half Moon Bay, CA
Providence to Seattle
Providence, RI → Seattle, WA
South Carolina to Santa Cruz
Charleston, SC → Santa Cruz, CA
Jacksonville, FL → Monterey, CA
By The Numbers
Between eight cross-country and two regional trips, 2014 saw the highest number of riders in B&B history.
Each rider pedals roughly 4,000 miles.
Average dollars raised per rider
This total, combined with the programming expenses that inspire our riders to commit to a lifetime of service, account for 83.7% of Bike & Build’s overall expenses.
Organizations Received a B&B Grant
2013 Grantee Accomplishments
Our 2013 competitive grantees reported on their first year successes in the fall of 2014.
houses, apartments and dwellings impacted
by Bike & Build grants
youth or young adults engaged
in a Bike & Build funded project
community members impacted
by homes or projects funded by Bike & Build
When they aren’t pedaling, our routes stop and build with housing organizations across the country.
Each rider contributes roughly 70-80 build hours during the summer
Explore More Accomplishments
Andy Short, Coastal Drift, 2014
This year, Bike & Build unveiled Coastal Drift, a new regional route from Maine’s Acadia National Park to New York City. Over the course of 3 weeks and 830 miles, riders weaved in and out of island towns and major metropolises, traversing both urban and rural landscapes and experiencing the mutable affordable housing issue that parallels the varied terrain. Riders experienced the best of Bike & Build in a compact time frame: scenic roads, multiple build days, and the ability to observe and create change in the world around them. The trip was shorter, but the soul was the same- spurred by young adults with adventurous spirits and involved citizens with tremendous hearts.
The Bike & Build Scholarship program engages young adults from at-risk backgrounds, ages 18-25, in a life-changing opportunity to be engaged in their community. Riders develop skills in teamwork, leadership, and perseverance. This accomplishment furthers empower scholarship recipients to serve others for many years beyond the completion of the trip.
In 2014, the second year B&B offered this scholarship, Bike & Build fully funded two young adults in our regional ride. Kamal Gatewood and Mindy Zhong, both from Philadelphia, had an incredible experience on Coastal Drift.
In 2015, Bike & Build will provide three scholarships, including our first ever cross-country support. If you’d like to donate, visit our website.
Bike & Build's Grant Programs
Marah Holland, P2C
In 2014, Bike & Build granted $613,264 to 387 affordable housing organizations across the United States.
We did that through four programs:
Competitive Grant Program Any nonprofit in the U.S. with a project that engages young adults in the affordable housing cause can apply. Application information can be found at bikeandbuild.org/grants. The best part: our riders decide which projects are funded.
Rider $500 Grant Each rider has the opportunity to designate $500 to the affordable housing organization of their choice.
On The Road Donation As a thank you to the hosts who so generously host us, we empower them to declare an “On the Road” beneficiary, an affordable housing organization of their choice that receives $100.
Pre-Arranged Contributions Bike & Build provides grants to a few organizations in exchange for key programmatic necessities, such as our Blitz Build with Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity in Colorado Springs.
Explore 2014 Grantees
Habitat for Humanity of North Idaho
$8,120 - Funded By Providence to Seattle
Habitat for Humanity of North Idaho is using B&B grant funds to engage students from the Kootenai Technical Education (KTEC) High School in the construction of a home for a low-income family. In their original grant application funded by our riders, HfH of North Idaho estimated ten students would participate. However, the program has become so popular that 21 students enrolled in the Fall 2014 semester. KTEC students receive hands-on training in residential construction to supplement classroom activities.
Katrina Boyer, HfH of North Idaho’s Volunteer Coordinator, stated that the Bike & Build grant has been one of the primary reasons this partnership formed. “The grant enabled us to get started on projects that we otherwise couldn’t have done. It’s very difficult to be unable to start projects for people who really need help. Establishing this relationship with KTEC allows us to reach more of our community members in need.” The grant may help lead to further expansion for the partnership from other sources as well. “Some of the members of KTEC’s Board of Directors have been able to see this progress, and that has opened doors for Habitat to these new networks,” Boyer stated.
Bike & Build has also built with Habitat for Humanity of North Idaho since 2009, and we look forward to continuing that relationship!
$8,000 - Funded By Providence to California
YouthBuild's innovative alternative education program helps out-of-school youth rebuild their lives while they rebuild their communities. Students receive hands-on construction training as they rehabilitate a dilapidated property for a first time, low-income homeowner. Additionally, YB students take classes towards their high school diploma and prepare for college. This combination of academic skill building, job training, and support services help former dropouts change the trajectory of their lives and transition to post-secondary education or meaningful employment.
Bike & Build’s grant is supporting YB Philly’s Building Trades Training Program. Three teams of students are working throughout the semester on three properties in Philadelphia. One property is combining the need for affordable housing with the goal of making it green, as the students are helping build the home to LEED Platinum certification standards. “The students really take ownership of these houses. They have a lot of pride in what they are building,” said Sarah Peterson, YB Philly’s Communications and Development Associate.
Zahfir Slaughter, one of the students working on this project, commented on how much he’s not only learning on the construction site, but also about himself. “I’m really learning how to push myself and build my character. This program is very exciting. We’re not only giving opportunities to a new homeowner, but it also opens up bright futures for students like me.” Zahfir is taking these lessons to heart; after college, he wants to start a career in real estate. “It’ll be fun to one day go past the house we’re building and say ‘I did this.’”
Stafford County Economic Development
St. John, KS
$7,000 - Funded By North Carolina to San Diego
Stafford EcoDevo is using affordable housing as a key tool in a broader goal: retaining and recruiting more young adults to live and raise their families in rural Kansas. “Population decline is a big issue in rural economic development, and housing is one the major things to address,” said Carolyn Dunn, Executive Director at Stafford EcoDevo. For example, one problem the community faces is finding housing for teachers hired by the local school district. The average age of a house in Stafford County is 84 years old, and 80% of the housing stock is in subpar condition. Bike & Build funds are being used to help build three new rental units for young professionals, like teachers, throughout the county.
Bike & Build riders didn’t volunteer with Stafford EcoDevo in 2014, but Carolyn had a chance to speak to the NC2SD riders in Dodge City, KS. “I came home after talking with them and, sensing their purpose and passion, I was pretty pumped up. I didn’t sleep much that night!” Stafford EcoDevo has taken the mission of engaging young adults in their community development to heart: they recently hired a college grad from Wichita (“That’s a big deal,” Carolyn said.), and this project inspired a local contractor to hire one of the students in the local high school’s building trades program that had been contributing to the project.
“It’s all about broad community development,” Carolyn commented. “Economic prosperity, housing, healthy living… it all goes hand-in-hand.”
GRID Alternatives Colorado
$5,000 - Funded By Central U.S.
GRID Alternatives Colorado provides low-to-no cost solar electric systems to families that qualify as low income, while also giving volunteers and job trainees hands-on experience that they can use to get jobs in the growing solar industry. GRID has been operating in Colorado since 2012, when they installed 12 systems. In 2015 they aim to install 60-70. With the support of Bike & Build funding & volunteers, GRID is a step closer to their vision of a successful transition to clean, renewable energy that includes everyone.
A key piece of GRID’s outreach engages young adults in long-term contributions to sustainable, affordable housing. They work with multiple community colleges and technical schools to provide hands-on, rooftop experience installing panels. To go along with their classroom education, GRID trainees complete ten volunteer days and ten crew-leading. Once complete, individuals are eligible for to sit for the industry’s certification exam. GRID Colorado also runs its own Solar Corps program, similar to AmeriCorps (unaffiliated), where young adults who participate are employed by GRID but also earn a scholarship to continue their education.
Kristina Sickles, Development Director at GRID Colorado, talked about GRID’s triple-bottom line impact: “We’re helping low-income homeowners with a hand-up, we’re helping young adults, veterans, women, and others gain valuable job experience, and we’re lowering utility costs and overall fossil fuel dependence. Ultimately, we want to bring new people into the convseration about renewable energy, especially those low-income individuals who are most impacted.”
The program’s impact is also felt by their homeowners. “We have a very tight income and it has been a blessing to shave down our bills each month,” said Amy Sue Pinto, a recent GRID client. “We’d looked into solar and knew it was always something we wanted, but it was just not financially feasible until GRID Alternatives helped us out. Everyone on their team was amazing to work with!”
Purdue University Habitat for Humanity
West Lafayette, IN
$1,400 - Funded By Providence to Seattle
The Habitat campus chapter at Purdue will be using Bike & Build funds this year to build their capacity for future fundraisers. Our P2S team awarded $1,400 to purchase new bicycles that the organization is using for bike-related fundraisers that will far exceed the grant total provided by B&B. Specifically, Purdue students will participate in the Bucket 100, a two-day ride that travels from Purdue to Indiana University in Bloomington, 120 miles away, and Cover Indiana, a week-long event that traverses Indiana. Students without their own wheels will be able to participate with the Bike & Build-funded bikes, enabling the campus chapter to raise at least $450 per bike/per year.
“These bikes will last us for awhile,” said Michelle Obergfell, the chapter’s President of Development. “We work closely with Lafayette Habitat for Humanity, and each year we aim to raise enough money to sponsor a house. This will help us do that.”
Interested in applying for a Bike & Build Grant?
We fund projects that engage young adults in addressing a demonstrated need in affordable housing. 2015 applications will be available in April and due Friday, June 5. We accept requests from 501(c)(3) organizations between $500 and $10,000. Visit bikeandbuild.org/grants for application materials.
Maria Allende, NUS
Bike & Build’s mission is to support the affordable housing cause by inspiring young adults to make a lifetime commitment to service. Many of our 2014 riders will be doing amazing things in their own communities. Here are just two samples of the impact our riders continue to make after their service with us.
Southern U.S. | Trip Leader
When Claire graduated from Stephen F. Austin University in Texas in 2010, she needed an internship to complete her degree. That led her to an AmeriCorps position with Sussex County Habitat for Humanity in southern Delaware, which has become a small pipeline for Bike & Build riders. After a brief dip of the toe into the corporate world, she joined Bike & Build’s 2013 Providence to Seattle route. “I grew so much that summer,” Claire said, “so I wanted to give back to the organization that gave so much to me.” Claire became a B&B Trip Leader this past summer on the Southern U.S. route, helping lead a crew of young adults from Jacksonville, FL to Monterey, CA.
So what’s unique about Claire’s experience with Bike & Build? In between her two B&B trips, her family and she built their own house, a 3-bedroom home just outside of Austin, TX. “I gained so much experience and emotional insight into building homes for other families that I wanted to share that building experience with mine,” Claire said. “It was not my idea of winter fun… it was a lot of hard work, a lot of early mornings on cold winter days. But we built memories as we built the house.”
It’s hard to describe the kind of pride you have when you do something like this and share it with family, Claire reflected. Bike & Build mirrors that… It’s full of incredibly passionate people.
Claire’s commitment to the affordable housing cause continues. After a brief stint as Program Manager for Rebuilding Together East Bay North in Berkeley, CA, Claire took the plunge and joined Bike & Build as our latest Program Director.
Moving from rider to leader and now to staff has been and will continue to be a life changing experience. I'm really excited to be working with so many incredibly passionate people and continue to help the Affordable Housing cause.
Maine to Santa Barbara
When Chris signed up for Bike & Build prior to the summer, he entered with a unique perspective on the affordable housing cause. His own family had faced hardships growing up, and Bike & Build represented a chance for him to give back. “Although I always had a roof over my head, there were instances where we didn’t have heat or power running into my home. That affected other aspects of my life,” he said.
When he first found out about Bike & Build, it seemed like an ideal match. In high school, he became involved with a Philadelphia nonprofit called the Cadence Cycling Foundation, a program that connects urban youth to cycling. But it was the service component that helped draw Chris to Bike & Build when he graduated. “The main reason I signed up for Bike & Build was to help ensure that others never face the hardships I did. No one in this country should have to go a night without a place to call home and lay their head.”
Chris is continuing his service post-B&B. He is completing an AmeriCorps service year with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a national non-profit that helps transform distressed neighborhoods into healthy and sustainable communities. Chris is back in Philadelphia, working as a block coordinator with We Are Mantua (WAM!) assisting with the Home Preservation Initiative to preserve homes for low-income families in the Mantua neighborhood.
“Bike & Build and AmeriCorps are showing me that service to others goes a long way because I may just be helping someone live up to their potential to do the same.”
Top 2014 Fundraisers
Gaurang Garg, SUS
Molly Junck, SC
Sara Rosenband, SC
May Huntley, P2C
Juan Espinosa, P2S
Statement of Financials
2014 Affordable Housing Grants
1. Competitive Grant Program
2. Rider $500 Donations
3. Pre-Arranged Partner Contributions
4. On the Road Gifts
5. CWM Contributions
6. Alumni Council Emergency Grants
Total Bike & Build Grants
Total By The Years
Audited Financial Statements
Unrestricted Net Assets
Assets Released from Restriction
Total Support and Revenue
Management and General
Change in Unrestricted Net Assets
Total Other Income
Change, Total Net Assets
Net Assets, Beginning
Net Assets, Ending
2014 Program Expenses
Grant Program Distributions
Trip Gear, Activities
Salaries, Benefits, Stipends
Bike & Build’s Greatest Resource
Marah Holland, P2C
Bike & Build Alumni Council
In addition to supporting our affordable housing partners each year, our mission is to engage young adults in service long after they’ve completed their trips.
The Alumni Council represents the nearly 2,300-member constituency of former B&Bers who remain committed to service in communities around the United States.
Granted $4,000 in emergency funds to organizations responding to disasters, including a fire in Connecticut and the mudslides in western Washington.
Raised nearly $8,000 to support the Bike & Build Scholarship.
Operated a mentoring program, matching 150 riders to alumni.
Coordinated numerous recruitment activities to spread the word about Bike & Build to future riders.
In 2014, the Bike & Build Board of Directors and Alumni Council teamed up to present “Alumni Still Serving,” a project that focused on the impact Bike & Build’s riders have in their communities long after their trip. Check out those features on our website, and read about two alumni in particular who are having a major impact in their communities.
Some former riders spoke about the impact Bike & Build had on them, and how they are staying involved in their community.
Providence to Seattle 2009
Grand Rapids, MI
Five years after his Bike & Build trip, Danny remains one of B&B’s most active alumni in the cause. In his current role as the Director of Sustainability for Well House, he helps provide safe and affordable homes to the homeless. He also works part-time as a consultant to help companies track energy, water, and environmental usage. If that wasn’t enough, he and several other B&Bers (Aileen Strickland, CUS’10 and William Gallmeyer, P2C’11) have started a nonprofit called Homes of Hope, which is building a “Living Building” home for a couple running a community garden in a low-income neighborhood in Grand Rapids.
Danny was a 2012 recipient of the Chris Webber Memorial Fellowship, a program that engages Bike & Build alumni in self-directed affordable housing projects. He earned funds to support the development of sustainable housing on the Crow Reservation in Montana. The fellowship eventually led to a full-time position, and he continued his work on three other Native American reservations.
Bike & Build helped give Danny the support network to find these opportunities. “I don't know if I can or want to imagine my path without Bike & Build,” he said. “Without it, I wouldn’t have met my fiancé [Aileen], have friends in every city I visit, or have that continued passion and interest in affordable housing.”
Danny’s extensive background befits his ambitious long-term goals: ending homelessness and the construction of homes that aren’t energy efficient. After that’s done, he might take a break for a little hiking and biking.
Maine to Santa Barbara 2012
Before Karla signed up for Bike & Build several years ago, she envisioned a life of entirely different pursuits than what she’s doing now. “All my life I had only ever wanted to be either in the medical profession, or do scholarly research. Bike & Build made me realize that I don't have to be a doctor to make a difference and save someone's life.”
She now works with Heading Home in Boston, an organization dedicated to ending homelessness in the city. As the Data & Research Manager, Karla is responsible for analyzing program outcomes and measurement. She also consults on HUD grant applications for Heading Home’s multiple housing programs across the city. “It's a little like the grant selection process on Bike & Build. You have a bunch of programs, a limited budget, and you use the facts to send on applications that will have the biggest impact.”
The position sets her up well for long-term involvement in affordable housing. “I love this field. I love the people who are involved in this cause. I've never seen a more passionate, selfless, and devoted group of people, and I hope to get many years working side by side with them.”