What our trainees say was accomplished in 2012

Probably the most inspiring and meaningful achievements at Homeless Garden Project are from our trainees. Here is a listing from our trainees about what they personally accomplished by participating in HGP’s transitional employment program in 2012.

I’m now living indoors. I’m renting a room in a house, as of January 2013.

I started a second job at a nonprofit in March 2012.

I have gained a very strong wonderful network of friends.

My diet changed a lot during 2012 and I believe that has affected my ability to deal with challenges quite a bit. I get frustrated less easily.

My quality of life has increased at least three times over in the past year. I’ve gained independence, new residency, and a huge improvement in diet.

I completed an up-to-date resume and have begun looking for gainful employment.

I’m not able to save money here, but have improved my frugality.

I applied for food stamps in March when I started volunteering at the Farm, which led to my trainee position.

My support system has changed by an ever-changing set of friends and by utilizing the support of our social work interns. I feel a stronger sense of community.

Today I look at challenges as opportunities for personal growth. A positive attitude and a sense of humor can overcome just about any obstacle.

My sense of well-being or happiness is one of my greatest character assets. I’m astounded by its resilience despite outward appearance or conditions. My attention right now is self-confidence.

Being present by learning to not dwell on the past nor trip on the future brings peace of mind. Realizing that I can be my own worst enemy is huge. Helping others is a huge priority.

I’ve achieved a reconnection to my real self, reestablished my creative side, embraced my natural abilities and nourished my self esteem. In a sense, I’ve been reborn.

I’m indoors in a room with common bath. It was a long hard year, but I’m indoors.

I’m still a walker and bus rider. I’ve been a walker and bus rider my whole life.

I now have a resume and was able to get two short term dog and house sitting jobs, as well as caretaking jobs.

My health and well-being have improved. My choice in friends and relationships with others are different.

I can talk to my social worker now. I know people who can I do something with when I’m not working.

I am happier now. I have a reason to get up in the morning, a place to go and some income. I spend a lot of off-hours time at the farm. It is kind of like a yard for me.

The changes resulting from HGP that mean the most to me are having an income and hearing that someone values my work.

This past year I have transitioned from an S.L.E. to a mobile home where I now have my own room.

I am now looking for more work as I have just updated my resume.

I deal with challenges with a much more serene attitude- slowly and mindfully!

My sense of happiness has changed increasingly over the past 10 months because of my sobriety, which has been a challenge yet a joy.

The most important and meaningful change that has happened recently is with my mind; the change of my mind has come through my retreats, and this wonderful opportunity here at the HGP has been so beneficial.

By being in the training program at HGP, I have received tremendous help with my sobriety and self-worth and confidence.

Some changes I have been tracking include feeling less stressed while working, getting used to working with others, and learning to relate to management in a more positive way.

By working with HGP I have learned farming skills.

I have learned to be more realistic and set clearer goals for myself, and I have become more patient and feel better about my goals.

In the training program I have gained a better ability to deal with others.

Regarding my education, I am now on track to getting my GED.

In 2012, my sense of happiness has changed in that I feel I have a greater sense of purpose.

Thanks to HGP staff, I am able to get my GED and my driver’s license.

I have learned that I love greenhouse work, nutritious food, and cooking.

This past year, 2012, I have transitioned from homelessness and living outdoors to living inside.

I have been able to manage my money effectively and pay my rent.

I have received a lot of support from HGP and HPHP.

Housing, my lifestyle, my money, and my friends are among the most meaningful and important changes I have seen in my life recently.

I remember working here around the holidays last year on some crafty things and some wreaths. A couple, Mike and Mary, had their beautiful baby boy with them. He was crawling and playing, and then there was a cheering crowd for him as we all watched him take his first few steps from a table to his mother’s arms. I reflected and thought to myself, “Wow” as I gasped in a bittersweet moment.  I felt such joy knowing that I am also taking my own first few steps toward my new views and way of life, my new journey. Life is good, be happy!

Mike using wheel hoe

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2 Responses to What our trainees say was accomplished in 2012

  1. Charlie says:

    It is so nice to hear that everyone is enjoying their time at the farm. It was an honor for me working side by side with trainees and volunteers alike. The farm brought out the best in me and gave me a sense of pride and happiness that not too many other things in life have thus far. To all those who have volunteered and given back to this wonderful place, I thank you!!

  2. Spencer Smith says:

    Having briefly lived in Santa Cruz/Felton, I volunteered at the HGP once and was amazed at such a seemless operation! And having seen all the resources available in Napa Valley – you guys make it work with much more real-life involvement, respect and dignity. I love following your blog and e-newsletter. Keep up the good work!

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