Habitat East Bay/Silicon Valley has a long tradition of creating volunteer-built affordable housing in the Bay Area. As we look towards spring, there is a variety of ways to volunteer with Habitat—and we need your help! So, join us in this season of new beginnings by helping us build some fresh starts for families and neighborhoods. A few hours of your springtime will plant seeds of change throughout our community.
Here are the top 3 ways you can lend a helping hammer with Habitat this spring:
1. Build new homes
One of Habitat’s tried-and-true ways of creating affordable homeownership opportunities is through new home construction. Our Esperanza Place development out in Walnut Creek is our latest example of this effort. Nestled between the Pleasant Hill BART Station and the Iron Horse Trail, this site will be transformed over the next few years into a vibrant community for 42 low- and moderate-income families. How are we going to get all that work done? With the help of Habitat volunteers, of course. We have officially welcomed volunteers to the site and are looking forward to ramping up the work this spring.
A fun thing about volunteering on a development like Esperanza Place is that you have the opportunity witness construction from the ground up and take part in each step of the process! Whether you’re interested in helping out as an individual, with your community or faith group, or want to make a company team volunteering day out of it, there are opportunities for everyone. And, you can assist now and volunteer again in the future to see how the site is progressing.
Currently we have volunteers assisting with infrastructure and foundation work, followed by wall and floor framing, roofing, and more! You can join us whether you’re a seasoned carpenter or you’ve never lifted a hammer – we’ll have all the tools and training you need to help us build the way home for 42 future Habitat homeowners.
2. Give an old home a new chapter
If you are interested in something on a smaller scale, a home renovation might be just what you are looking for! Last year, we completed a thorough renovation on Manila Avenue, and a family is settling in to their new lives as Habitat homeowners. Now, it’s on to the home right next door, and we’re excited to welcome volunteers back to Manila Avenue, where your help is needed to convert this bungalow into a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom home. But just because it’s just one home instead of 42, don’t let that fool you – there’s a ton of work to be done, and lots of skills to be learned. You’ll get a glimpse at the bones of the structure as we bring it up to code and create a sustainable home for a new Habitat family. Volunteers don’t need any construction experience to take part in the build—or on any of our builds, for that matter. Our seasoned construction staff and AmeriCorps members will break each task down and work alongside volunteers to get the work done! All you need to bring is a positive attitude, a willingness to learn, and a desire to create positive change (and maybe a water bottle, sturdy shoes, and a sack lunch!).
3. Help our community gardens spring forward
While homebuilding is what Habitat is best known for, it isn’t the only tool in our tool belt! Volunteers taking part in our Green Spaces Program have the opportunity to learn hands-on carpentry skills while building important infrastructure for community gardens throughout Oakland. Sign on for a day with Green Spaces in Oakland or Milpitas, and you’ll work closely with our staff to cut, paint, and assemble pieces like picnic tables, benches, and tool sheds. Plus, you’ll know that your efforts will be centerpieces in the city’s gardens. Whether it’s in the food that’s grown or the strong neighborly relationships nurtured – these gardens feed our Oakland community in more ways than one. And you can help keep these vibrant, vital spaces beating strong at the heart of our neighborhoods.
However you choose to get involved with Habitat, we are excited to work with you! Want to stay updated on Habitat projects and volunteer opportunities? Sign up for our monthly volunteer updates email - Hammering Home!