Community garden turns unemployed homeless into small-scale produce entrepreneurs

Community-garden-turns-unemployed-homeless-into-small-scale-produce-entrepreneurs

[image credit: Homeless Garden Project]

Homeless population struggles to qualify for jobs

Homelessness and joblessness go hand in hand. Lack of job skills, recent work history, social support network and low self esteem all make the transition out of homelessness more difficult.

Solution: Teach them to run their own small businesses

The Homeless Garden Project was launched by a Santa Cruz, California nonprofit to provide job-training and meaningful work in the healing environment of an organic farm.

Trainees in the program:

  • Take advantage of transitional employment in the safety of a structured environment
  • Learn basic life skills required for employment
  • Learn a variety of other marketable skills
  • Share four hot meals a week with staff, other trainees and volunteers
  • Give to the community by growing food for other programs that serve homeless and needy populations
  • Grow organic fruit, vegetables and flowers for the SC community through the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program
  • Educate students and other groups who use the garden
  • Create value-added products from farm grown materials which are sold at the Women’s Organic Flower Enterprise Store

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Category: Employment

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Article by: Dave

Dave Cannon is a Seattle-based entrepreneur and consultant to nonprofits and small businesses. He loves Thai food and takes terrible photographs. You can follow him on Linkedin.
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