The Human Services Campus Community Garden
The Human Services Campus leverages the power of collaboration to offer comprehensive assistance to individuals experiencing homelessness in Maricopa County including the metro Phoenix area. The result of this unprecedented collaboration was the birth of the Human Services Campus – a one-stop “gateway” to self-sufficiency for individuals by allowing them to address their basic needs (food, shelter, and medical care) and access services to address the causes of their homelessness including substance abuse, serious mental illness, lack of employment, domestic violence, legal difficulties, and poor physical health or disabilities. The client community is extremely diverse, and includes single men and women over the age of 18, veterans, people with substance abuse issues, victims of crime and domestic violence, individuals with varying degrees of mental illness, first-time clients, the disabled, and those who are chronically homeless.
In 2012, we began constructing a community garden for the campus. We use plants and gardening materials to help improve social skills, self-esteem, development of discipline and commitment through non-threatening and passive engagement. In addition, all produce harvested is donated to St. Vincent de Paul Dining Hall in order to supplement client meals with fresh, local produce.
The ongoing goal for the garden is to continue expanding and increasing production of fruits and vegetables as a means to help feed the homeless population of metro Phoenix. We currently harvest roughly 100 pounds of produce per week, and in one year we would love increase that output to 300 pounds per week. In five years, our goal is to continue improving upon those numbers, all the while keeping the clients engaged and participating in their garden.
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