Community Stories, Eden News, Volunteer of the Month

Friends of Eden

May 3, 2021

Volunteer Appreciation Event

April 22, 2021

In 1968, a small group of community activists in Hayward were concerned about the lack of accessible, affordable housing in Alameda County. Led by Cal State Hayward Professor, Basketball Coach, and founding Eden Housing board member Bill Vandenburgh, they came together as advocates for a statewide ballot initiative supporting what we now call ‘fair housing.’ It didn’t pass. Undeterred, Bill’s group rolled up their sleeves and decided they’d try building small-scale family housing themselves. Joining the professor in a volunteer capacity as an Associate Dean at UC Berkeley’s School of Architecture, a couple of local ministers, and other community leaders. With no professional staff, they met out of makeshift headquarters’ such as local coffee shops, bringing in like-minded architects, engineers, and other experts who helped illuminate their path. Former Hayward Mayor Ilene Weinreb, an early champion of their efforts, noted, “Affordable housing isn’t something that happens automatically, you have to make it happen.”

In honor of our history, we celebrate Eden supporters, volunteers, and affordable housing leaders.

Join us in celebrating our winners!

Kurt Weist

Civic Leader Award Winner—Ilene Weinreb Honorary Award

Lewis Jordan

Civic Leader Award Winner—Ilene Weinreb Honorary Award