EarthLinks cultivates transformation and self-worth with people experiencing homelessness and poverty. By creating opportunities through earth-centered programs, individuals step out of isolation and into community—restoring each other and the planet. Workshop program offers a micro-economic opportunity that links participants with organic gardening, bee keeping, worm composting and product creation. It also provides them a venue for setting and achieving personal goals, being a member of a supportive community, and learning sustainable life practices. Reconnecting people with nature is a major part of our Workshop, and one of the unique aspects that makes us who we are. Workshop is a program serving people who are experiencing homelessness and poverty that provides meaningful, paid work, social support, and all the benefits of gardening to empower participants to create positive change in their own lives. Experiences in nature are known, both by EarthLinks and in research, to have a positive impact on people. Participants find digging their hands into the Earth, tending to plants, reaping the harvest, and composting the scraps to be a healing process full of metaphors that help them through the positive, yet challenging, changes they are initiating in their lives. At EarthLinks, we specifically see improved self-esteem and mood, improved productivity, reduced stress, addiction recovery, social empowerment, improved social support, increased motivation and increased inspiration; each of these areas of growth are deeply rooted in EarthLinks’ garden. In 2013, 74% of participants were successful in obtaining and/or maintaining stable housing, an impressive accomplishment for people who are moving out of homelessness.
Additionally, our Community Links program, monthly educational workshops on urban homesteading topics, expands learning outside of the Workshop, offering educational sessions and community building to the greater public. The education we offer continually challenges people to think about and understand the link between people and the planet.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA