HGP Community Event
This August, HRB looks forward to a very special Sunday afternoon at The Homeless Garden Project Farm.
They are excited to welcome the community back to the Farm for 'Lean on Me: Community Structures of Support' which begins at noon on August 15th and features live music, Alta Organic Coffee & Tea, bagels and other baked treats. Bagels, coffee, and cakes will be available by a pay-what-you-can donation that will benefit HGP's transitional employment program for people experiencing homelessness.
In preparation, we had the opportunity to meet up with Paul Goldberg, Director of Development, for a very insightful farm tour. And Ella Fleming, Farm Manager, to help us source organic ingredients for the event. We learned so much about this groundbreaking organization that has been part of many “firsts” when it comes to advocating for houseless people, organic farming, CSAs, and community culture.
The core of HGP is its one year long transitional employment program through which 90% of graduates find stable employment and housing within three months of graduation. Homeless Garden Project is a community connection space that began in 1990 as a safe space garden with a focus on wellbeing. Philosopher and homeless advocate, Paul Lee founded HGP with Founding Director, Lynne Cooper, who developed the social service enterprise model that continues to thrive today.
Community involvement is key to the success of HGP because working side by side helps to break down feelings of isolation felt by so many experiencing houselessness. HGP's 'Lean on Me: Community Structures of Support' welcome back event aims to inspire and perpetuate community involvement and look to the exciting future of HGP as it relocates to Pogonip Farm; which will expand the farmable acreage from three acres to nine acres on a twenty acre site.
The thirty-one year old HGP is currently nearby Natural Bridges and sees nearly three thousand volunteers annually in normal times. The pandemic has dramatically impacted community support and on August 15th, HGP is excited to welcome back volunteers and the greater Santa Cruz community in an outdoor, socially distanced celebration. Please join us in admiring and interacting with an installation by artist M. James Becker that consists of a new trellis and bench for the Farm and to appreciate the incredible work and resources that Homeless Garden Project promotes and provides.
You can find more information and rsvp to the event on FaceBook. To learn more about HGP and sign up for their email list, you can visit their website: www.homelessgardenproject.org.