This Might Be The Most Amazing Method To Support A Homeless Shelter

Posted by GreaterGoodness

To paraphrase a famous proverb, “Teach a man to grow produce and you’ll feed them healthy meals for life.” A homeless shelter in Atlanta is practicing this very principle with their organic rooftop garden, with residents learning to grow everything from kale to watermelons. They’re not only learning a valuable skill, but finding a new perspective on life and invaluable peace of mind.

The Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless shelter on Peachtree Street in Atlanta is the largest in the south-eastern states and as many as 700 people in need call it home each night. No one who comes to it is turned away, but homeless clients can secure a stable long-term place for themselves through volunteer work. One option is to enroll in the Truly Living Well program, a community-supported agriculture program aimed at developing sustainable urban farms throughout the Atlanta metro area.

Shelter residents who are enrolled in (or have graduated from) Truly Living Well can opt to work in the organic garden that has flourished on the roof of the Peachtree shelter since 2009. The garden consists of 80 raised beds growing an amazing range of organic produce, including carrots, chard, collard greens, zucchini and strawberries. The produce not only goes to feed shelter residents, but also to raise funds to support the shelter’s other functions.

Shelter residents are thrilled with the program. Not only does it give them experience in the rapidly growing realm of green development, but it also provides a sense of peace and personal worth. The world of the rooftop garden is an oasis from the streets below, and volunteer workers often find it the ideal place to focus and clear their heads.

Supporting homeless services can sometimes seem like an endless black hole, with the ranks of the needy increasing from year to year. Programs like the rooftop garden offer a self-sustaining alternative that can actually help to reduce overall poverty in the long run.

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