Our mission and story

Our story began in the year 2000, with the plan to generously donate approximately seven acres of property near the ocean in the Princeton Harbor of Half Moon Bay, by two families whose beautiful children and close relatives have developmental and other disabilities.

Due to its ocean proximity, their shared dream was named “Big Wave”. Their vision was to build and provide a safe and nurturing place for adults with special needs to reach their full potential while being integrated members of the community.

Big Wave resident and her father
Big Wave Project future resident with parents

Their plan began with these founding principles:

  • Celebrate and support adults with a variety of disabilities in a supported living model
  • Provide the opportunity for lifetime residency
  • Encourage active resident involvement in their home and surrounding communities through enriching activities, learning opportunities, and engagement with members of the broader Bay Area community
  • Utilize a design that encourages independence, ensures safety, and considers the unique characteristics of Big Wave residents
  • Value meaningful, long-term relationships between residents, families, and support staff
  • Strive to accommodate residents across a broad financial spectrum

Many years of dedication and hard work have gone into this project. After a lengthy and expensive process, we have obtained entitlements for the project from San Mateo County and the California Coastal Commission. We have also obtained construction permits for the residence and courtyard, and have secured County approval for detailed architectural and engineering plans. 

Several years have been spent installing the required underground infrastructure – including water, sewer and utilities – and completing the construction of a certified pad for the building. In addition, as part of our commitment to the environment, Big Wave is restoring degraded wetlands and creating community nature pathways that connect the nearby working harbor, the adjacent residential community and the coastal riparian habitat.

Big Wave is a 501©(3) organization. We are parent- and family-driven, and funded through families, private donations and grants from foundations and corporations. 

Big Wave Project future resident Sam with parent volunteers