Hi everyone, my name is Dianna Hope and I’m proud to be a trainee at the Homeless Garden Project! The Homeless Garden Project not only helps the homeless, but we help many community members through organizations like Hospice, and the Boys and Girls Club, not to mention the Transition Age Youth program. HGP helps our community with organic foods and flowers, and works strictly with our local community.
At HGP we celebrate holidays like Cesar Chavez Day and Martin Luther King Days, with a genuine heart in bringing the community together with volunteer work days. The diversity of people in this project have warm, understanding and compassionate hearts, and go out of their way to helps us with our many different barriers and needs. They educate us by helping us to create resumes, cover letters and assisting us with mock interviews.
I’ve expanded my work history because of the Project. I’ve learned many different techniques on how to plant a variety of plants and flowers, created value-added products to sell at the store, such as bath salts and flower wreaths, and obtained cashiering experience at the store, here. I’ve learned how to interact with the public by doing demos and telling people about the benefits of project. I’ve had the opportunity to learn how to package many different items which we sell at the store, and also how to arrange shelves in a professional manner.
We at the farm are like one big happy family in the sense we all help and look out for one another, a unity of trust is a big factor within the community. This Project means the world to me in many ways, it saved me from being homeless. I was very close to being homeless. HGP gave me a job when everyone else had denied me access to enter into their work site because of my past actions. Which in turn helped better my self-esteem and gave me a sense of direction in feeling like a part of society again. No more isolation for me, I am happier than I have ever been and I feel like I am doing something special with my life now. I also have more self-confidence.
I couldn’t be more proud to say that I am a part of the Project, they have restored my faith in people, transformed my life and my beliefs about the world helping one another within the community. I have built strong bonds with many here, as well as life skills to help me in my future. I feel blessed to be a part of this growing sanctuary that helps the people in this community.
–Dianna Hope spoke at our Pogonip Farm Update in April, 2018. She started with HGP in November 2017. Dianna lived in Santa Cruz from age 3 for more than 30 years. She spent time in Sonora and Sacramento before returning to Santa Cruz, which she calls her home town. Dianna’s been in recovery for nearly 3 years. She’s been an electronics technician, a firefighter, a cashier, and has done housekeeping and landscaping.
Dianna has a second part-time job and is working to set job goals for when she graduates, including the fulfilling work of helping her community.