When we put shovels in the ground in September 2014, we couldn’t yet picture the vibrant neighborhood that would spring up out of that sunny patch in Martinez. With every Groundbreaking Ceremony, our community gathers in a spirit of hope and optimism, knowing that with each new development, we take another step toward our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. But each neighborhood born out of this hope has its own story, its own faces. And the story of Muir Ridge has been an incredible one to take part in.

Muir Ridge  Blue Print

“I’m truly amazed,” said Ben Grubb, Habitat’s Construction Manager, as he celebrated with a slice of cake. “It’s incredible to see what’s possible when this many dedicated people, all these volunteers and supporters and homeowners, get together. Just look at what we’ve done.”

The building of this 20-home neighborhood has truly been a collective effort. Muir Ridge would have been an impossibility without the support of our development and house sponsors., listed below. And it was the sustaining contributions of thousands of donors, from individuals to companies to congregations, giving generously to make the vision of Muir Ridge a reality.

And of course, Muir Ridge is the work of many, many hands. Over 5,000 volunteers have laid hands on these 20 homes. Those volunteers put in thousands of hours to take this neighborhood from shovels in the earth to a 10-home Dedication Ceremony in 2016, and a 6-home Dedication Ceremony in 2017. Some regular volunteers and Muir Ridge homeowners decided to commemorate the completion of the neighborhood with a potluck on Saturday, June 23rd

Muir Ridge Completed HomesAnd what we’ve done is no small feat. Muir Ridge is now a beautiful neighborhood of 20 affordable new homes, a diverse and tight-knit neighborhood of families. At the potluck, children – and dogs – ran freely between each other’s homes, when they weren’t kicking a ball together in the street, and the adults shared food and laughter in the shade of one homeowner’s garage. Shawntate, who used to keep her sons indoors for fear of neighborhood crime, commented on “how quiet and peaceful it is here,” holding her baby, Carter, on her hip as she watched her eight-year-old, Justin, run outside with the other children. Her oldest, Abdul, grouses at how often Shawntate makes them clean the house while he juggles college courses, but it’s clear that he takes pride in the home as well. 

Shawntate’s family is just one of the 20 families who are building strength, stability, and self-reliance today, out of the opportunity of homeownership. The support of the Habitat community has brought that opportunity within reach, and we can’t wait to see how much more these families will build. Thank you to all of you who have been a part of Muir Ridge, and for continuing to help us tell more stories like this one.

Thanks to following Muir Ridge Sponsors and Partners:
Heritage Bank of Commerce
Patelco Credit Union
Contra Costa County and the California Department of Housing and Community Development
Dean and Margaret Lesher Foundation 
All Faiths Build 
Pacific Gas & Electric Company
Wells Fargo 
Cycle of Hope 2015 
Grifols 
Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco/Bank of the West 
Anonymous 
Women’s Crew 
Helen L. Knopp Trust 
Simpson Strong-Tie 

About the Author

Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley

As an independent affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, Habitat East Bay/Silicon Valley believes in a world where everyone has a decent place to live. We create opportunities for families to transform their lives, gaining the strength, stability, and self-reliance they need to build a better future. Working together as a community, we build homes with affordable mortgages, repair and renovate existing homes, counsel first-time homebuyers, and revitalize neighborhoods in Alameda, Contra Costa, and Santa Clara counties. For more information, please call 866.450.4432.

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