Bike & Build is a Philadelphia-based organization that has young adults between the ages of 18-25 biking across the country and making stops along the way to help with affordable housing projects nationwide.
One of the Bike & Build groups that began in Portland, Maine and is ending up in Santa Barbara, California made a stop in Amarillo to help with Amarilloâ??s Habitat for Humanity 100th home. The group has already put in 2,396 to arrive in the Panhandle and spent a day and a half working on the new home.
â??On this particular house, itâ??s really unique for us, 33 is a huge numberâ?¦ normally when we build weâ??re on separate projects, but I think this is one of the first sites that weâ??re all working on the same project and you can really see how much work weâ??re really getting done. All of these walls were put together before we came this morning,â?? said one of the four team leaders, Emily Hittner.
The group is made up of 33 young adults from all different walks of life, including some teachers, college grads, or young adults transitioning between school and adulthood. In the time the Bike & Build spent working on the home, they were able to put up the framing of the house alongside the future homeowner.
â??Itâ??s special to me because I see that people have taken time out from their day to come help me build my home,â?? said Georgette Rocha, the single mother of three, â??Theyâ??re not strangers anymore. Theyâ??re friends that have come to help and I donâ??t see them as strangers.â??
The executive director of the Amarillo Habitat for Humanity had nothing but compliments to give to the young group, saying that hosting them had been amazing and that she enjoyed getting to know each one of the riders.
â??Itâ??s just an awesome experience having all of these riders come in especially riding across the country and putting in so many miles and stopping and being able to have the energy to build on our home,â?? said Chas Massey, the executive director. â??I think itâ??s amazing. Itâ??s a great testament to young people and the volunteer work theyâ??re doing in our country.â??
The group headed back out on their backs around 7am Friday morning to continue with their journey. They are only about halfway through their 75 day trip and have over 1,000 miles more to complete their journey.