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Groundbreaking for New Housing: STEP UP Supportive Housing in Berkeley

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

The recent groundbreaking event for the Step Up Housing Program is the latest milestone in BOSS' efforts to expand affordable housing for community members in need. Once complete, Step Up will provide 39 new affordable housing units for unhoused community members, with on-site services to support housing retention, long-term health and wellness, and social and community engagement.

A Testament to Collective Effort

The groundbreaking event for Step Up, to be located at 1367 University Avenue in Berkeley, saw an impressive turnout of community members, including project partners (housing developers Panoramic Interests and funders Kaiser Permanente, City of Berkeley, and Alameda County), BOSS staff and Board members, local neighbors and others. This diverse assembly reflected the community's unwavering commitment to addressing homelessness and creating a positive impact.

BOSS is committed to helping our unhoused neighbors find and keep permanent housing to stay housed and stable. We achieve this by providing affordable housing options including emergency shelter, RV Safe Parking, community cabins, and supported independent living programs like Step Up.

Innovative Sample Unit Tours: A Crowd Favorite

One of the event's highlights was the guided tours of the sample housing unit. Attendees had the opportunity to look inside and appreciate the innovative design and functionality of these small but perfectly equipped housing units. The sample unit was meticulously crafted, demonstrating a vision for a more sustainable future for the unhoused. Its design incorporated practicality and efficiency while maintaining comfort and security. The interior layout maximized the available space, offering a seamless blend of private and communal areas. Storage solutions were seamlessly integrated to cater to the occupants' needs, promoting organization and reducing clutter.

The positive response to these tours highlighted the importance of transparency and community involvement in creating housing projects. It showcased the impact that innovative designs can have in redefining housing stability. A well-designed and affordable living space is not just about a roof over one's head -- it's a stepping stone towards stability, self-sufficiency, and an improved quality of life.

Praise for Step Up: Inspiring Change and Collaboration

Multiple guests from Step Up developer partners Panoramic Interests were in attendance, including Panoramic owner Patrick Kennedy, and Director of Business Development Michael Thomas who shared that was one of the best groundbreaking ceremonies he had ever attended. The positive feedback from attendees echoed this sentiment, with many expressing their desire to be actively involved and pledging follow-up support -- enthusiastic engagement that underscores the potential for collaboration and collective impact in tackling homelessness.

BOSS continues to develop new housing programs whenever possible - including new construction, rehabilitation of existing properties, or master leasing opportunities. Learn more about our housing security programs and how you can get involved by visiting BOSS Housing Security Initiatives.


BOSS programs are innovative, based on evidence-based practices and proven methodologies, and emphasize lived experience: across BOSS, over 50% of staff (80% in reentry programs) have personal experience with the same issues current participants face.

Visit our donation page to see how you can continue being of service and help BOSS Bay Area remain one of today's most recognized leaders in social justice, housing, reentry, violence prevention, and innovative service delivery methodologies.


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