The EarthLinks Workshop is a social-enterprise program where participants who are homeless and low-income do organic gardening and create Earth-friendly products, and are paid an hourly stipend for their work. Participants work weekly in our Peace Garden and craft workshop, and set and work toward achieving personal goals, such as acquiring housing, staying in recovery, pursuing education, or working on personal relationships.
In 2018, 73 individuals participated in the Workshop Program, earning a modest monthly stipend to help pay for housing, groceries, transportation, medical care, or other personal needs.
We all need to be connected to one another and to the Earth Community in order to be whole. The interface with nature and the creative process is centering and healing, offering inner peace and balance, which benefit us all. For members of our community working toward improved mental health and wholeness in their lives, the feeling of belonging and acceptance brings encouragement on the road to recovery.
Participants grow food and flowers, do beekeeping, maintain our worm farm, and create Earth-friendly products, including soap and lotion bars, cards, vases, gourd jewelry, mason bee boxes, and more. The community formed at EarthLinks, which includes the natural world, supports us all on our journey.
Interested in joining? Click Here.
Ms. M's Testimonial
“What really sustains me at EarthLinks is the garden, being able to look at it, wander through it, and care for it. EarthLinks for me is a meditation in action. It is recuperative and helps me counteract the stress and trauma that I deal with on a daily basis due to poverty.”
"I love being around all of the growth and the nature at EarthLinks, it’s an electricity in a way, it gives off its own energy, so I come here and suck it all in because downtown there is not much at all, I come here to recharge. I’m proud to say that I work here, I represent. EarthLinks is more than just a garden- it’s family, it’s support, it’s people who love me even when I didn’t love myself, and my family didn’t at that point either. I wouldn’t be where I am without this community, I don’t even know if I would be alive."
A lot of times when you are homeless, there is this feeling is that you have no worth, you have nothing to contribute. Society acts as if homeless people just appeared out of nowhere, but most of them have been around for quite a number of decades doing a lot of work and either because of illness, or disability, or getting laid off, it’s very hard to get a job that pays enough to live on. You begin to feel as though you’ve been kicked to the curb. Coming to EarthLinks and doing something productive and interesting makes people feel better about themselves, I know it helped me a lot when I needed it.
Benefits of the EarthLinks Workshop Program
Participate in meaningful work that benefits the Earth
Earn a small, consistent stipend that you will receive once a month
Be given the support to cultivate self-confidence within yourself and discover your creativity
Belong and contribute to a community of caring people
Work as a team and practice conflict resolution
Learn organic gardening techniques, including making healthy soil, planting and harvesting
Learn other useful skills like composting, woodworking, and beekeeping
Develop leadership skills and training
Acquire a reference or letter of recommendation for future employment (if appropriate)
Receive case management assistance in navigating housing, benefits, and food access