Sam Farr Visits Homeless Garden Project

Sam Farr tours HGP, October 2012

We invited Congressman Sam Farr to visit HGP and see how our program has developed and impacts our community, as well as to share some remarks on transitional job efforts from the national and local perspectives.

We wanted to begin a timely conversation–for programs that help people who are homeless increase their self-sufficiency and regain a productive place in our community

Tim Galarneau of the Central Coast School Food Alliance and Food Systems Education & Research Program Specialist, CASFS

Mayor Don Lane, Vice-mayor Hilary Bryant, Katherine Beiers, Santa Cruz City Council, Donna Murphy, Vice Chancellor of University Relations, and Phil Kramer of 180/180 were among the guests.

The Tour Demonstrated:

  • How HGP’s enterprises and 3-acre organic farm operates; About our unique mix of therapeutic horticulture, job training, transitional employment and social work programs, and our newest initiative, the Century Certificate Program;
  • How the Santa Cruz community is pitching in to do something about homelessness; and
Tour members listen as HGP Trainee, Mike Thornley speaks about what brought him to Homeless Garden Project and what his participation at HGP means for his life today
  • About HGP’s partnership with the National Transitional Jobs Network (NTJN), a coalition of over 5,000 anti-poverty, workforce, human services, reentry, youth, veterans, homelessness and housing non-profit, faith-based organizations and local and state government entities.
  • The NTJN believes that every person deserves the opportunity to work and support themselves and their families and that America is stronger when everyone who wants to work can find a job. The NTJN is dedicated to getting the most vulnerable Americans back to work.

The National Transitional Jobs Network published this blog about Congressman Sam Farr’s visit: “A Beautiful Way to Live”: How One California Farm is Helping Individuals Experiencing Homelessness