The Build House is an innovative community based home in Berkeley for individuals with significant developmental disabilities. We believe that every person, regardless of ability, has the right to make choices in their lives and it is our mission to support our residents in that pursuit.
The Build House came about as a collaboration between family members of young people with developmental disabilities, professionals who serve them, and interested community members. We received our 501(c)3 designation in 1997. After almost 10 years of start-up fundraising and grassroots organizing, we opened our doors in 2001. We worked with a local architect, himself a person with a disability, to retrofit an 1880’s West Berkeley Victorian cottage into a universally accessible home for 6 residents, complete with 2 full wheelchair-access restrooms.
Who We Serve
Our residents represent a diverse community of individuals from varying backgrounds. Residents are primarily non-verbal with significant developmental delays, including impaired vision, hearing, and behavioral and emotional challenges. Most have chronic health conditions that include paralysis, spastic quadriplegia and seizure disorders that require 24 hour trained assistance and monitoring. Despite their challenging disabilities, Build’s residents are often seen shopping on 4th St, using the Berkeley public library, swimming at Berkeley pools and the YMCA, eating at local restaurants, seeing movies, and generally utilizing community resources and enjoying the various activities available in our wonderful city. Our staff partner with those we serve in providing whatever assistance they may need to live fulfilling lives.