GROUND BREAKING. Enthusiastically, Covidly distanced turnout.
San Mateo County Supervisors and Families To Celebrate With Masks and Distancing
WHAT: Founded 20 years ago by four local residents and parents of adults with special needs, the nonprofit organization The Big Wave Project will break ground on Saturday, Aug. 15, to begin construction that will provide affordable housing, well paid jobs, and peer support for adults with developmental disabilities.
County officials, alongside private industry and dozens of adults with disabilities and their families, will be on hand for the celebration and will talk about the importance of this project, especially in light of the recent pandemic.
The $23 million, privately-funded “intentional community” will help provide for an increasingly high population of adults with developmental disabilities such as Autism, Asperger’s, William’s Syndrome, Brain Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Deafness, Downs Syndrome, Medically Fragile, Syndrome X, Speech/Apraxia and other Intellectual/Cognitive Disabilities.
WHERE: 335 Airport St, Half Moon Bay. Parking is directly across, along the street.
WHO: Featured speakers include:
- Don Horsley, county supervisor, San Mateo County
- David Pine, county supervisor, San Mateo County
- David J. Canepa, county supervisor, San Mateo County
- Jeff Peck, Big Wave CEO
- Steve Bacich, CTO and founding partner, Med1 Ventures
- Family members available for interviews
WHEN: Saturday, August 15, 2020
- Arrivals: 9:30 a.m.
- Presentation and speeches: 10-10:40 a.m.
WHY: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 54 adults has autism, a number that has been climbing steadily. Parents of adults with special needs tend to be older, and are concerned about quality of life for their sons and daughters after they pass away. The current system for adults with special needs includes institutions, group homes and alternative family care. The system is backlogged and at times inadequate in providing the community human beings need in order to thrive. The Big Wave Project seeks to bridge that gap by providing a venue for specific programs that are designed for adults with special needs, both for residents and non-residents. This includes athletic programs, farm projects, employment opportunities and day programs.
Visuals: Groundbreaking ceremony with public officials, small business owners and adults with special needs and their families on Big Wave’s six acres of coastal property and farm.
Big Wave facts (live on August 14, 2020) https://www.bigwaveproject.org/news-events/
Information on Adults with Special Needs [https://www.bigwaveproect.org/news-events/
Construction updates: https://www.bigwaveproect.org/news-events/
Please RSVP to Sarah Sherwood,
About Big Wave
The Big Wave Project provides the venue and family support for adults with special needs, as well as ensuring that they have affordable housing, job and career opportunities, as well as emotional support, by contracting with organizations that have a proven record of innovative programs. These programs incorporate vocational, residential, and peer support in a comprehensive and nurturing environment to help each person achieve new skills and confidence, ensuring local families the best chance of success for their adult children.
Learn more at www.bigwaveproject.org
FACT SHEET: The Big Wave Model
June 22, 2020
There is a critical shortage of housing for developmentally disabled (DD) adults
• Currently, the best alternative is a group home which, while usually
providing a safe environment, is in very short supply, and does very little to
enhance the well-being and lifestyle for DD adults
• Big Wave was created to establish a community which not only provides a
safe and secure housing environment, but also provides an enriched lifestyle
for DD adults
Purpose of The Big Wave Project: This is what adults with developmental disabilities need…
To create a financially sustainable community for adults with developmental
disabilities that provides:
- affordable housing with the equivalency of home ownership
- job and career opportunities
- a community with daily support and interaction
- a purpose each day
The Big Wave Project Mission: What we can do…
To have a community property and program which can serve a broader purpose for
all adults with developmental disabilities throughout San Mateo county by
- affordable housing
- a day program run by One Step Beyond and other qualifying Day
- a vocation program through One Step Beyond and other qualifying
- local commercial tenants willing to hire adults with developmental
- a culinary school for adults with developmental disabilities through
One Step Beyond
- a model for future developments like this to provide housing and
community for adults with developmental disabilities
Big Wave has a residential component surrounded by a commercial component; the two work together for the benefit of adults with special needs.
Strategies for Quality Control: These strategies seek to promote optimal independence, self-reliance and fulfillment for adults with special needs.
1. Provide the most researched, dynamic and empowering programs and services
for residents and non-residents so that they are acclimated with their peers into the
community. One Step Beyond will run the principal program at Big Wave.
2. Each Big Wave adult is recognized for their potential and talents and has the
option of using each in work and play. They have the opportunity to participate in
their communities through this work, which adds dignity to their lives.
3. A communal atmosphere ensures a community for each adult with special needs.
4. Adaptive environment e.g. Slow down the pace day-to-day, including mealtimes,
as well as programs,, sufficient with the needs of each resident.
5. Staff is paid at competitive rates to help ensure the quality of care.
6. Parents are involved and partners in the community. Family is an integral part of
Big Wave society.
7. Enrichment activities are the heart and soul of the program and include optional
activities such as:
- group outings
- personal outings
- civic/government participation
- working on the Big Wave Farm
- art and music options
- Culinary Academy classes
- employment opportunities
- solitary time and space as needed
- parent and/or family time
8. Health-focused care is included day to day. The mental and physical well-being of
residents is a large focus.
9. Security and safety are critical to the program and will be specifically designed
for the Big Wave property (e.g. cameras, professionals).
10. Progressive programs will be inclusive and discrimination of any kind will be
Big Wave is a privately funded partnership between the:
– Big Wave Group, a 501 c3 non-profit founded in 2006
• with Jeff Peck, CEO and a Board of Directors from the
• owns the land on which the Big Wave Community Center will be
built ; oversees operations and brings in needed donations
• We have contributed to the costs in the entitlement process for
the population to be served
– Big Wave Community Cooperative (Co-op)
• Consists of 23 families who have purchased 23 out of 33
residential units (another 23 units are expected to be built) to
provide for additional families and revenue for adults with
• Has created an ad hoc committee of members (primarily
parents or family members) who will:
– Work with all future residents to match housemates
– Work with the architect to determine the best ratio of
one, two and three bedroom units prior to submission
to the county for building permits in order to design for
the unique comfort of each resident.
– Big Wave, LLC, which donated the land to the (501c3) Big Wave Group
– Members of Big Wave Co-op have all purchased a convertible note
which gives them the right to convert to a membership once
construction of the Community Center is completed (all are expected
– Some of the units could be sold to additional members to enhance
I look forward to visiting [my daughter] Sarah at Big Wave.
We are going to have a network of family members who
contribute whatever Big Wave needs.