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Homeless Garden Project

Organization Mission

In the soil of our urban, organic farm and garden, people find the tools they need to build a home in the world.

Our core work is designed for people experiencing homelessness to work while receiving job training and social support in our yearlong program at our organic farm and value-added retail social enterprise where they are paid wages for their work. Over 90% of our graduates obtain stable jobs and housing within 3 months of completing the program.

The Big Idea 2024:
Growing for Santa Cruz

Thanks to partnerships with 15 local nonprofits and donors from Santa Cruz Gives, in 2022 we grew our program to provide organic produce at no cost to individuals battling food insecurity from 30 weekly boxes of nutritious produce to 45 weekly shares grown by trainees in HGP’s transitional employment program. In 2023 we saw the program grow again, doubling the previous 30 shares to 60 in 2023.

The produce is grown from seed to harvest by individuals experiencing homelessness in HGP’s core transitional employment program, raising self-esteem and demonstrating that their actions can positively impact our community.

We also operate an online retail shop. Please visit! And HGP is featured in a Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History exhibit titled “Our Places,” recognizing special places that connect underserved people to nature.

There is something so beautiful and healing about working in the soil. Every day, I am so incredibly amazed by the plants and their ability to grow.

Elise Strobel, HGP graduate