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Bike & Build riders roll into Oxford

By Ana Martinez

news@oxfordeagle.com

Bike & Build cyclists will be soon pedaling into Oxford to help build a house for a local family.

The riders are expected to arrive on Thursday and will work Friday along side the Oxford-Lafayette Habitat for Humanity, which is building their 15th house. The 30 riders will then leave early the next morning for Clarksdale.

Bike & Build is a non-profit organization founded in 2002 to promote affordable housing by organizing young adult bicycle trips on one of eight different cross country routes, raising funds for affordable housing and helping with builds along the way, according to Sharon Schreiber, secretary to the local Habitat chapter’s Board of Directors.

“This group began May 21 in Charleston, South Carolina and will ride 4,269 miles to Santa Cruz, California, arriving on Aug. 10. They will have 17 build days along the way,” she said.

The organization is not affiliated with Habitat for Humanity, but they often work with them, as well as other groups, to construct affordable housing. Together, the two organizations hope to eliminate substandard housing and homelessness worldwide by making affordable housing a matter of conscience and action.

“The organization believes that everyone should have a simple, decent place to live in dignity and safety,” Schreiber said.

Habitat for Humanity does not give away houses to just anyone. The families are expected to repay the cost of the house through affordable mortgages and fulfill 500 hours of what they call “sweat equity” by working on their house. Families are chosen by their level of need for housing, as well as their willingness to partner with Habitat and their ability to pay.

“Volunteers are welcome to join at the Brittany Woods subdivision on Saturday mornings,” Schreiber said. “It isn’t necessary to have any construction skills, but volunteers must be at least 16-years-old.”

If anyone is interested in volunteering, contributing, or applying for a house, email oxfordhabitat@gmail.com. For more information on riding with Bike & Build, check out their website at www.bikeandbuild.org, and track their journey through their blog at https://sc2sc16.wordpress.com.