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Re: Gardening With The Homeless & The Mad

  • Subject: Re: [cg] Gardening With The Homeless & The Mad
  • From: "Jim Call" jimcall@mail.casagarden.com
  • Date: Thu, 1 May 2003 10:43:24 -0400

Don,
I agree with Adam's perspective on gardening with the homeless. 
Especially with the passage...

I could see, for example, a community garden attached to a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or residential program as being a valuable adjunct to their work.  Especially if the homeless folks were working alongside folks who still have jobs, homes, families and most of their faculties...This would have a humanizing effect on the undomiciled and 
the luck ones who still have a roof over their heads... 

Jim 


---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: Adam36055@aol.com
Date: Thu, 1 May 2003 10:26:53 EDT

>Don, 
>
>Doing a kind of horticulture therapy program in a community garden with 
>homeless people, many of whom, when they are not in a stablizing shelter 
>situation (is this an oxymoron?) have their faculties compromised by drugs, 
>alcohol, madness - or all three - is a daunting challenge. 
>
>We have three residential programs on the block of the CCG ( Fountain House, 
>Project Return and a program for HIV positive, undomiciled teenagers).  These 
>folks have garden keys at their centers and I'm happy to say that there have 
>been no serious program client issues over the last 25 years in the garden. 
>Generally, it has been some neighborhood folks who say, "that man is kind of 
>scary looking, or "You let those people in here?"
>
>However, using a CG as a place to invite untreated, wild card homeless folks 
>is a risky business, especially if you don't have allied service agencies 
>allied with your effort.  I could see, for example, a community garden 
>attached to a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or residential program as being 
>a valuable adjunct to their work.  Especially if the homeless folks were 
>working alongside folks who still have jobs, homes, families and most of 
>their faculties...This would have a humanizing effect on the undomiciled and 
>the luck ones who still have a roof over their heads...
>
>It would be hard, however, to keep it going because of myriad people 
>problems, not impossible.
>
>Best wishes,
>Adam Honigman 
>
><< Now, my question. I'm working with a garden for
> homeless folks. The typical rules and dues structure
> that works quite well for many community gardens (see
> the by-laws on the ACGA website) won't work here.
> Anybody got any ideas to share on how to structure the
> organization and encourage 'buy-in' in a garden where
> people have no home? There is no doubt in my mind,
> though, that this garden fills a very important need,
> giving folks a place to connect with the soil. For
> some, expecially immigrants from farm backgrounds, it
> is a godsend. >>
>
>______________________________________________________
>The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org
>
>
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>
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>

______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


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