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Pedaling for affordable housing: Bike & Build participants stop over in Williams
Cross-country cycling group helps raise awareness for U.S. housing crisis

Bike & Build participants stop overnight in Williams July 20 during their cross-country trip to raise awareness for affordable housing. (Wendy Howell/WGCN)

Bike & Build participants stop overnight in Williams July 20 during their cross-country trip to raise awareness for affordable housing. (Wendy Howell/WGCN)

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — Cyclists with Bike & Build stopped in Williams for a two-day stay at the Community United Methodist Church, July 20 as they prepare to continue their cross-country trip.

Williams Area Habitat for Humanity hosted 29 members of Habitat International’s Bike and Build program. The Bike and Builders arrived in Williams July 19, with volunteer workdays on July 20 and 21. The group worked on projects for Williams Parks and Recreation, Williams Unified School District and the Community United Methodist Church.

Riders with Bike & Build started their trip in mid-May in Jacksonville, Florida and plan to complete the trip in August at Santa Barbara, California. Their organization’s goal is to engage young adults in service-oriented cycling trips to raise awareness for the affordable housing cause.

Throughout their journey, highlighting the need for affordable housing, the Bike and Builders stop at various locations and work with Habitat affiliates building houses or helping with A Brush With Kindness Community projects.

While in Williams the young volunteers stayed at the church, showered at the

Williams Aquatic Center, and had their meals provided by Williams Area Habitat for Humanity and the church community.

“Pedaling for affordable housing means two different things. One, we act as physical help on build projects with organizations like Habitat for Humanity… and we also work on general advocacy for housing,” said Nate Sepic, a rider with the group. “The whole point is to develop this knowledge base and point of advocacy so that when the trip is over they have a broad knowledge across the U.S. to really build from in their own communities.”

This is the first summer the group has been able to organize a trip since the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

“The trips were put on pause,” he said. “There were some alternative programming that was done in smaller communities where there wasn’t high risks … last year they had regional rides.”

Participants are responsible for individual fundraising for the $5,000 to cover the cost of the trip.

When they are not biking, participants, are working and advocating for the things they are passionate about.

“Some of us quit our jobs to be able to do this and others are college students. Most of us are young professionals who are working,” said rider Erin Dominici.

The group typically stays in churches, camps or finds alternative lodging while traveling.

About Bike & Build

Bike & Build was founded in New York City by Marc Bush who, after leading a cross-country trip with the (now discontinued) Yale Habitat Bicycle Challenge in 2001, was inspired to expand and improve their model.

Bike & Build’s inaugural routes – Central United States and Northern United States – dipped their wheels in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in 2003. After that, Bike & Build added a new cross-country trip every year for the next six summers.

More information is available at bikeandbuild.org.

More information about Habitat for Humanity, A Brush With Kindness, Bike and Build or how to be a

Habitat volunteer can contact Williams Area Habitat for Humanity at PO Box 814, Williams, AZ 86046 or call (928) 635-4393.

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