8 Reasons: Interview with HGP Board member, Andre Lafleur

Board member, Andre Lafleur speaks at HGP Fall SUSTAIN dinner
Board member, Andre Lafleur speaks at HGP Fall SUSTAIN dinner

At the Homeless Garden Project’s Fall SUSTAIN farm dinner, one of our newest board members, Andre Lafleur talked with our dinner guests about why he decided to join HGP’s Board of Directors.

“There were many reasons why I joined HGP’s board—even though I am not certain I have the temperament of a great board member, these reasons added up:

  1. Because someone I respect (Dear Dr Paul Lee) asked.
  2. Because everybody recognizes Santa Cruz has a serious and growing homelessness problem.
  3. Because SC is blessed with earth’s best farming climate, and its most fertile land and a viable fresh water supply.
  4. Because I have seen the way local people have understood and embraced fresh and local food and farm products.
  5. I’ve seen HGP work, I’ve seen it succeed, I see the beautiful farm and kind people and felt their supportive, loving spirit.
  6. I’ve heard stories of lives turned around, and of the reunion of parents and children and families.
  7. I believe that these elements, collectively, are in a compelling stellar alignment with HGP mission, vision, and values.
  8. And finally, I wanted to find out what it could be like, feel like, and mean, if the community really got behind the HGP to create opportunities for people who are homeless to become self-sufficient, and to find their place as productive members of our community.

In this spirit, I’d like to share this poem from David Whyte:

Everything is Waiting for You

“To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice”

“Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation”

“All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.”

David Whyte
from Everything is Waiting for You 
©2003 Many Rivers Press

– Andre Lafleur has worked with the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County since 2004 and currently serves as Major Gifts Officer. He has homesteaded with alacrity in Bonny Doon since 1999, and could not be bribed to live anywhere else.