Planting Seeds, Transforming Lives
The Homeless Garden Project’s education programs, enterprises, volunteer opportunities, and food distribution projects engage the entire Santa Cruz community, offering opportunities to experience the joy that comes from growing and sharing healthy food.
A Path Out of Homelessness that Connects the Community
The core work of the new Pogonip Farm will continue to be job training, transitional employment, and support opportunities for men and women experiencing homelessness to connect to housing, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, counseling, and health services. Trainees develop basic working skills like working as part of a team, problem solving, communication, and taking initiative. In addition, they acquire technical expertise in organic agriculture, production of value-added products, business operations, and sales. The Project’s 12-month program currently serves 30 people each year who are experiencing homelessness. The Homeless Garden Project is proud to report that in recent years, 92% of its graduates obtain jobs and housing. Since its founding, over 750 people have participated in the Project’s paid job training program.
Connecting the community is equally essential to the Project’s mission. Last year, nearly 3,000 volunteers provide over 15,000 hours of service through the farm/garden, farm stand, artisan workshop, retail gift shop, and education programs. Volunteers, including seniors, church groups, students, families, and professionals have the opportunity to work and eat side-by-side with trainees and build a supportive, positive community.
In the soil of our urban farm and garden, people find the tools they need to build a home in the world.
BEYOND OUR TWO STEPS CLOSER TO HOME CAMPAIGN