W.E.B. DuBois: ‘To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships.’
Patrick Duffy of ‘Dallas’ Fame Lists Oregon Ranch for $14 Million
Imagine a world where smart cohesive thinkers come together and work with these multimillionaires and get some break on the property and then get a community going there: people who want to learn how to farm-raise animals; how to preserve foods; how to construct tiny homes and microhomes; how to grow food; how to heal; and how to bring together so many types of people who want to heal trauma and get better. I am not just talking about those rough sleepers you might run into, AKA, homeless, many times men of all ages, opting to get off the bureaucratic grid (they too are humans and global citizens, lest we forget). Not just folks who are really down and out, or who just want to be left alone. Although many of those would fit well on a property like this — a river there, ponds, fields, trees, and central outbuildings.
I’ve written about this before — “All the World’s a Stage … Except in our Own Backyards! All it takes is a cool seven million smackeroos to build that field of dreams”
Here, the low down via the realtor —
- 205 +/- acres zoned AF-5
- Includes 49 Acre Campus with 6+ Buildings totaling approx. 130,000 SF:
- Expansion Hall- Administration Building with Auditorium, Classrooms and Offices
- Harmony Hall- Girl’s dorm with 67 rooms, 7 offices, lounge, chapel, commercial kitchen, dining room, bath suites, etc. and attached 3-bedroom Dean’s house
- Devotion Hall- Boy’s dorm with 49 rooms (19 rooms need sheetrock finished and painted), apartment with kitchen, bath suites, rec room, lounges, etc. and attached 5-bedroom Dean’s house
- Gymnasium/Music Building with Stage
- Science Classroom Building with Library
- Industrial Arts Building with Auto Shop, Wood Shop and Welding Shop
- Extensive Updates during current ownership include:
- Administration Building has newer metal roof, updated windows, new insulation, remodeled auditorium and meeting rooms, new HVAC, electrical service and lighting
- New windows, high efficiency hot water system, new HVAC, new kitchen appliances and walk-in refrigerator, insulation, paint, lighting and carpeting in Harmony Hall (Girl’s dorm)
- New windows, insulation in 49 rooms plus new sheetrock in 30 rooms of Devotion Hall (Boy’s dorm)
- New and repaired roofs and new electrical services
- Domestic water system and sewage system for campus
- Includes separate 4.69 acres (Tax Lot 1301) with Spring and water rights– domestic water source for campus
- Adjacent 151 +/- acres well suited for low density residential development with 30 LA water co-op certificates
- Vineyard soils & Beautiful Views
- South Fork Hill Creek flows through property
- Rural location approximately 14 miles south of Hillsboro near Gaston
- Washington County
- Tax Lots 2400 & 1532, Sec 5, Tax Lots 400, 2400 & 2500, Sec 5c and Tax Lot 1301, Sec 16, T2S, R3W, W.M.
That was August 2021. I have had many intersections with places like that, where there is raw land, established multiple room buildings, with commercial kitchens, and gardens, even equestrian building, rivers and springs, and alas, up for sale, and, in the scheme of capitalism and the end rot of nonprofit do-gooders and the inability to get things going that would actually help people, including adults and families who have faced housing challenges, and then also bringing together students, and retirees, and others to create a triple-healing community where people live, eat, think, create and recreate together, yes, IMPOSSIBLE in capitalism. In a wooded and riverside area, throughout the land, thousands of locales, ready for a new paradigm!
There are literally tens of thousands of opportunities like the one listed above, and also that 395-acre ranch Duffy has put on the market.
In capitalism, using county coding as a blunt anti-do hammer, in the scheme of things, getting anything this creative off the ground is almost impossible. You know, getting maybe art students and social worker majors, journalism majors, filmmakers, construction and engineering students, nursing students and others out there to do theses in situ with the very people and situations they may have studied.
Encampments, visiting elders programs, and permanent housing in the form of tiny homes, with tons of support, tons of community connectivity, and then, of course, mental and physical health practitioners, nurtritionists, farmers, and construction gurus on the spot assisting people to learn how to do for themselves.
The template is easy to produce, and that letter I wrote to Jeff Bezos’s ex, MacKenzie Scott Tuttle, in reference to another property for sale in Oregon, 200 acres, for $7 million. Now, just replace that location with this new location:
Dear MacKenzie Scott-Tuttle:
RE: Satellites of Tierra Firma – Some Look to Mars and the Moon, We Look to Soil Here
& Medicine Wheel of Healing, Growing, Learning, Living
People and land need healing which is all inclusive – holistic.
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
Reverence is an emotion that we can nurture in our very young children, respect is an attitude that we instill in our children as they become school-agers, and responsibility is an act that we inspire in our children as they grow through the middle years and become adolescents.
— Zoe Weil, p. 42, Above All Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times
Oh, the naysayers tell me and my cohorts to not even try to break into the foundation you run, that this concept of having Mackenzie Scott Tuttle even interested in becoming a placeholder for an idea, and for this land that a group of visionaries see as an incubation collective space for dreams to become reality.
We place our hopes in your ability to read on and see the vision and plans driving this solicitation, this ask. And it is a big ask.
This is figuratively and literally putting the cart before the horse. Here we have 200 acres, and the vision is retrofitting this center that is already there, Ananda, into a truly holistic healing center, youth run, for a seven generations resiliency and look forward ethos of learning to steward the land, learning to grow the land, toward biodynamic farming, all mixed in with intergenerational wisdom growing.
We are seeing this, as stated above, as a medicine wheel. A circle of integrative thinking, education, experimentation and overlapping visions of bringing stakeholders from around the Pacific Northwest (and world) into this safe harbor. There are already facilities on this property as you can see from the real estate prospectus. There are 120 rooms in a great building. There are outbuildings, a gymnasium, barns, and spring water.
It is unfortunately up for sale, and the danger there is a developer with a keen eye to massive profits and turning a spiritual and secular place of great healing and medicine wheel potential into “dream homes” for the rich.
Good land turned into a gated community? We are asking your philanthropy to take a deep dive into helping put this property on hold from those nefarious intentions and allow our group to develop this circle of healing – education across disciplines, elder type academy mixed with youth directed programs; farming; food production; micro-home building and construction facility; trauma informed healing.
Actually, more. Think of this as a community of communities.
Young People Need Hope, a Place (many places) and Leadership and Development
So many young people are done with Industrial and Techno Capitalism. They know deep down there is more to a scoop of soil than a billion bacteria, and they want to be part of healing communities.
We are proposing the Foundation you have set up invest in this property, as a placeholder for our development plan – actually it is an anti-developer plan. This property will be scarfed up for a steal by land and housing developers who want McMansions out here in this incredible eco-scape. Just what we do not need in the outlying areas of Portland. Or in so many other locations across this country.
We are a small group ready to do what we can to get food growers and producers at the table to invest in intellectual and sweat and tears capital to make this 200 acres work as a living community of new farmers, people living and learning on the property, incubating ideas for, we hope, to include a micro-home building project, crops, vineyards, learning centers for farming and preserving, marketing and engaging in food healing.
We come at this with decades around food systems, learning from Via Campesina/o or Marion Nestle, Alice Waters, Winona LaDuke, Rachel Carson. We believe in biomimicry, that is, learning how nature settles scores, survives and thrives. We come at this as deeply concerned about ecological footprints, life cycle analyses, the disposable culture and the planned and marketed obsolescence.
We are also coming at this as educators – earth teachers, who know classrooms in prison like settings, with rows of desks, do not engender creative and solutionaries– young people ready to go into the world, even a small community, with engaged, creative and positive ways to deal with climate chaos and the impending shattering of safety nets, including biological and earth systems “nets” and “webs.”
This property is unique, as all of our earth is. This is firstly Kalapua land, first, and that is the Grande Ronde and Siletz, as well as the Atfalsti, too. We call it Gatson, near Hillsboro, Oregon, but the land is the essence of the spirit givers of this continent before “discovery.”
Rich, in the wine country of the new people to this region, this land is about applying our ethos and yours, Ms. Scott-Tuttle, toward a real healing, a real stewardship and real intergeneration ethos around carrying the wisdom of tribes and growers and educators to the youth. We believe women are at the center of many of the themes already listed – farming, educating, healing, human stewardship.
Think of this project as the cart before the horse because the old system, the horse, was always the money, the source of power, and with power comes strings attached. The people involved in this project are looking to have a multistoried community of farmers, learners, youth learning trades and people skills, as well as elders, both Native and new arrivals, to understand that a farm is more than that, as well as a vineyard is more than the sum of the grapes. It is about a reclaiming of the sacred – soil, air, photosynthesis in a truly sustainable fashion.
The only “green washing” we can imagine this project will carry forth is the washing of the greens, the other harvests, in tubs of clear spring water.
Some of us on this project have traveled to other parts of this continent, and spent time with coffee growers and understand that shade grown coffee and beyond fair trade are the only elements to a truly fair and equitable system. Train the people of the land, who are the true stewards, to not only grow, but to roast and market the bounty. Grow the community with water projects, irrigation, schools, and globalized sharing of people, visitors.
This project needs a placeholder, to keep the land out of the insane real estate market. We will do the rest, we solutionaries. There are so many growers and investment angels who want to be part of the Seventh Generation solution.
Clearly, the lessons for people to be in this 200 acre community, farm-soil-healing satellite, are lessons you, Ms. Scott-Tuttle, the fiction writer, know, which you capture deftly with Luther Albright. The world for young people in the Pacific Northwest is that crumbling home and crumbling dam of Albright. The healing we need is more than the structures and infrastructure. It is inside, at the heart of the soul of imagination. Some of us on this project are soliciting from your charity a placeholder purchase of the property are tied to the arts, believing STEAM is the only way forward, and that S.T.E.M. is lifeless and dangerous without the A – arts. We believe the true voice of people are those who believe in asking “what should we do” rather than what is currently on superchargers – “What Can We Do?”
We realize that for many young people, politics have failed them. Many youth I speak with and work with, believe this country is in the midst of an empire of chaos in steep decay. Alternatives to the decay is building communities that would fit the model here on 200 acres – agroecological farming; nutritional centered living; housing; long-term care assistance; youth directed entrepreneur projects; bringing in local and state businesses leaders to be part of a design from the grassroots up.
The catch for most of the youth we have engaged is — to paraphrase and level a composite point, “We are ruled by an elite class of individuals who are completely out of touch with the travails of the average American.” This simple statement is packed full of context and frightening reality for millions of students and adults who feel disconnected and neutered by both government agencies and corporate policies.
First, who wants to be “ruled” by anyone? That we have this class system of elite, middle managers, the elite’s high ranking servicers, and then, the rest of the citizens, the so-called 80 percent who have captured less than the overall 10 percent of “wealth” in this country. The very idea of an elite out of touch, or completely out of touch speaks to an ignorance that is dangerous to the world, to the 80 percent, and also speaks to a possible planned ignorance. That we have millions of amazing people, to include nonprofits, community-led organizations, educational institutions, journalists, and others, who can speak to what those “travails” are, and yet, the elites failing to grasp those challenges, or failing to even acknowledge them, this is what many believe is the decay of this society.
This may not sit well with you or your philanthropy, but we as a group have dozens of years experience working with K12, higher ed, farming groups, social services/mutual aid movements, and have systems thinking in our backgrounds, and we underscore youth and community-driven projects and designs. This medicine wheel/circle land trust we are asking you to consider with a follow up meeting, well, this is the only way to a model-driven set of safety nets to move into some challenging times for this Empire in a world that is no longer USA centric.
We are solutionaries, that is, we look for solutions by taking apart problems and then applying holism and deep experimentation in design, but using tried and proven systems that do work.
Healthy food, healthy relationships to culture, people, nature, healthy work, worthy work, with an eye always on the arts. Just as a farming and tiny home community, where biodynamic farming and food preserving and from nail to roof to complete tiny home design are part and parcel the key elements for this community to thrive under, well, there are no better classrooms and transferable skills.
Some of us have seen youth and adults learn the crafts needed to design, plan buildings, and market tiny homes that would be used to seed communities that are, again, centered around farming, centered around healing, centered around Native American healing, and local community values. A young woman who finishes the hands-on learning of building a tiny home – with windows, skylights, plumbing, furnishings, electricity ready, all of that which a home entails – is a remarkable, valuable person. All those skills, again, like a medicine wheel, teach deeper lessons, and transferable skills.
This is what this property would also “house.”
All Tied Together – School, Outdoors, People, Action, Solving Food Insecurity and Housing
The should is an educational-farming-entrepreneur-solutions incubator on these 200 acres. Proving that this could be one of a thousand across the land. There are literally thousands of similar properties around the US, within their own cultural-community-ecological-historical milieus, but again, this project is one that Luther Albright would have thrived inside as a “New Engineer for Growing Communities,” as opposed to river-killing dam builder.
Our earthquake is here now, with all measure of tremors and aftershocks — that is the climate chaos, wildfires, food insecurity, and alas, the New/New Gilded age of deep inequities that are criminal, as you well know, Ms. Scott Tuttle.
Here, the cart (before the horse): this amazing collective piece of land and buildings with a multiversity of spiritual under girders . The horses are ready, but they need the cart, the home, the fabric of incubation. Those stallions and mares are engaged, ready, who are willing to take a leap of faith here and risk being outside the common paradigm of predatory and consumer-driven capitalism that has put many millions in a highly precarious position.
It’s amazing, the current system of philanthropy which forces more and more people to beg for less and less diverse money for fewer and fewer truly innovative ideas. Funding a project like this is a legacy ad-venture, the exact formula we need (scaled up to a 1,000 different locales) to break the chains of Disaster and Predatory Capitalism. We need that “capital,” the cart, to help those stallions and mares to break for the field of ideas and fresh streams of praxis.
There are any number of ideas for sustainability communities. Co-ops, growers groups, or mixed communities for young and old to exchange knowledge, capacity, growth, sweat equity — called intergenerational living. This is about a pretty inventive suite of concepts and practices:
- learning spaces, inside and outside
- buildings to develop micro home (unique, easily packaged and ready to put together) manufacturing and R & D
- food systems – farming of sustainable food, herbs and those vines
- learning food systems, from farm to plate
- ceramics, painting, music, dance, theater and writing center
- speakers’ bureau
- farmers, restaurateurs and harvesters with a stake in the community
- healing center
- Youth directed outdoor education and experiences
- sustainability practicums for students
- low income micro home housing
- day care center, early learning center
How does this make any sense to a billionaire, who has devoted her life to “giving away” half of her wealth in her lifetime? Well, we see this project – this land-property – as a legacy for many of the avocations and interests (passions) you have articulated over the years. Your vision and commitment to education and women-centered projects are admirable. This is one of those projects.
There is that emotional and sappy Movie, Field of Dreams, and the statement – “if you build it, they will come.” We have found that over the years teaching in many places – Seattle, Spokane, Portland, El Paso, Auburn, Mexico – that young people and nontraditional students want mentoring, leadership and the tools to be mentors and leaders. They need the cart before the horse can herald in the new ideas, and the new way to a better future. If the classroom and master facilitator allows for open growth, unique student-led ideas and work, well, that person has BUILT the field of dreams from which to grow.
There are so many potentials with this project, and it starts with the land, holding it as a Scott-Tuttle placeholder. From an investment point of view, as long as you have people wrangling other people and professionals to get this satellite of sanity, the medicine wheel with many spokes radiating out and inward, the property increases in monetary value. Land is sacred, but just as sacred are the ideas and the potential that land might germinate and grow. It is the reality of our country – too few control too much. We see it in the infamous “Complex” – not just military, but, Big Pharma, Big Ag, Big Media, Big Business, Big Education, Big Medicine, as well as private prisons, for profit social services, AI , and Big Tech, so called Surveillance Capitalism. Who in the 80 percent has the funds to purchase a $7 million project?
Big ideas like this cooperative land medicine wheel (a first of many satellites) might be common, but the web of supportive and cohesive things tied to this property is unusual, to say the least. With the failing of small businesses throughout the area, with the food insecurity for women, children and families, with the housing insecurity, added to debt insecurity — with all those insecurities young and old face, this project could be the light at the end of many tunnels. We have connections to Oregon Tilth and Latinx Farmers, and large biodynamic vineyards. We have connections to women’s veteran groups, to aging in place experts. We have connections to trauma healers and growers and interested folk who know construction and design. Additionally, the Pacific Northwest, from Puget Sound to Gold Beach, OR, is full of innovators, and those include the dozens of colleges and universities just in these two states – Oregon and Washington. We intend to trawl for investors – farms, food purveyors, wineries, restaurants, schools and various college programmers – to put into this project. A soil plot to test perennial wheat, a al the Land Institute, to Amory Lovins, Novella Carpenter, and so many more, finding a place of integrated living, ag, permaculture and ever-evolving cultural understanding of the finite planet we are on.
We are hopeful, even under the current Sixth Extinction.
It is telling, this entomologist and educator’s perspective after three decades of teaching:
Diana Six, an entomologist for 30 years who teaches at the University of Montana, took her students to Glacier National Park on a field trip and reported the following:
Life doesn’t just deal with this. When I went up Glacier with my students a few weeks ago, the flowers were curling up. At some of the lower elevations, glacier lilies were shriveled, lupins didn’t even open. The flowers should extend for another three weeks and they’re already gone. Any insects or birds that depend upon them, like bees or hummingbirds, are in trouble, their food is gone. Bird populations have just baked… People seem to think of extinctions as some silent, painless statistic. It’s not. You look at birds that can no longer find fish because they’ve moved too far off shore. They’re emaciated; they’re starving to death. We are at the point that there’s nothing untouched.
How contradictory and illustrative that this student experience took place in a “protected national park.”
Referencing how climate change impacts life, Diana said:
Somewhere along the way, I had gone from being an ecologist to a coroner. I am no longer documenting life. I’m describing loss, decline, death.
We are hopeful that our youth can document life on this Medicine Wheel Land Satellite, and instead of describing “loss, decline, death,” this one satellite can help individuals to describe resurgence, restoration, holism, and growth. A model, like the one we propose, could be the incubator and inspiration for other similar projects throughout the land. So many empty buildings, so many abandoned farms, so much good land about to be grabbed up by McMansion developers, or those who have no vision toward a resilient and communitarian existence.
We are thinking of a medicine wheel since so many people can utilize the Farm, from horse therapists, to gardening as trauma healers; from alternative medicine experts, to restaurants with a connection to growers. This is Terra Firma Robusta, for sure, with so much potential to integrate a suite of smart, worldly, localized and educational programs, permanent, long-term, and short in duration. This would be the linchpin of inspiration, an incubator for similar projects, and we’d make sure that the Philanthropy you head up would be in some form of limelight – imagine, a billionaire placing a property with a deep spiritual history into a land trust of perpetuity. I know another billionaire has purchased farmland and is now the largest farm land holder in the US, but this one here we propose would fit an entirely different model, having nothing to do with industrial farming, genetic engineering and monocultures. Like all good societies, the cornucopia of life and backgrounds and people and land is what makes them dynamic, healthy and resilient, as well as fair.
We propose a grand idea, but we need that field of dreams, that field, that farm, before we can engage a hundred people to be part of this medicine wheel of land healing and hope.
Please let our team discuss this further. Truly, we have both the passion and persistence to get this Medicine Wheel of Healing Farm Community to an unimaginably vibrant level. Will you be part of our field of dreams?
Here it is, yet more second, third and fourth homesteads for the stars, up for sale!
Get garbage warriors out there, man:
Here’s the photo layout for this place: on a website called, Mansion Global.
Imagine, the Rich and Famous, a site (there are hundreds) to sell mansions, castles, private jets, yachts, and more.
Getting access to MacKenzie or Duffy or any of these star chamber superstars is one issue, but then getting through the red tape, the endless litigation, all the NIMBY retrogrades complaining, and really, getting people to sign onto a community-centered project, one where a lot of sweat equity is expelled, it is so so tough in predatory, dog-eat-dog capitalism. Getting the project off the ground, and getting the resources to keep it sustainable, well, that is the $1 Billion Question.
We are scattered, atomized, factionalized, silo-centric, contrarian. Hyper competitive, dog-eat-dog, and letting the rich and the connected and the bureaucracies of bad government run things, most people have no center, no ability to move along great ideas and projects.
This is primo property for any multilayered approach to trauma healing, getting young and old to do something as in a going concern tied to making tiny home kits, growing organic food, etc.
As they purchased adjacent properties over the years, they acquired eight more houses and several pastures that are rented out to local ranchers. One of the homes was demolished, six are rented to tenants, and one is used as the ranch manager’s house, according to Mr. Duffy.
“We became a working ranch but not with our own animals,” he said. “It added the most beautiful, bucolic sense of the place.”
A homestead that dates back over 100 years still sits at the entrance to the property, he said. In it he found an old stove, which he restored and put in the main house. But the majority of the roughly 390 acres remains wilderness. The property now has approximately 2 miles of river frontage, according to Mr. DeVries.
These villages or centers are easy to build, in the ten or twenty houses clusters, or bigger. But imagine, on land, growing food, working in soil, campfires at night.
Again, not just chronically homeless, but people who are about to be homeless. Imagine an amazing community, a pop-up village, a sort of “charter town,” without the negative implications of “charter anything” involved. For every 100 households of renters in the United States that earn “extremely low income” (30 percent of the median or less), there are only 30 affordable apartments available, according to a 2013 report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. It is getting worse, and people are burned out on capitalism. Easily designed, that mock up below. Imagine that as one of several nodes on the Duffy Property.
Efforts to break through the red tape and raise money to house the homeless almost always pay off for a community. Even the most expensive tiny-house projects—such as a new, ambitious $6-million campaign to build a 200-person tiny-house park this year in Austin, Texas—can’t rival the cost of homelessness to taxpayers, which was more than $10 million per year in Austin, for example, as YES! reported in December 2013.
“Chronically homeless people—people who have disabilities and are homeless for long periods of time—can be very expensive to systems of public care,” explains Roman. In 2007, the National Alliance to End Homelessness compiled three studies showing that it costs the same or less money to provide permanent housing as it does to allow people to remain homeless. In Denver, Colo., a housing program for the homeless reduced the costs of public services (including medical services, temporary shelter, and costs associated with arrests and incarceration) by an estimated $15,773 per person per year, saving taxpayers thousands of dollars.
Here, just one organization:
In a wooded area behind Ithaca’s commercial strip, there is a location known as “the jungle.” Here, individuals experiencing homelessness gather and make what home they can. Second Wind’s journey began when our founder, Carmen Guidi, started to build relationships with the residents, bringing pizza and listening to their stories. It was when one of his new friends, who had been asking for help, committed suicide that Carmen knew he needed to do more. Acting as an advocate, Carmen was able to find housing for all but nine men.
With his own money, Carmen purchased campers to provide shelter for the men who were still in The Jungle come winter. He placed these on his land and paid for the utilities, but it became clear that living in campers in the winter was still uncomfortable and very expensive. Through a process of collaboration, Second Wind evolved from campers to cottages and became an official 501(c)(3). Programs have expanded to include a house for women and a formalized Homeless Crisis Alleviation team. In 2020 the “cottages” was dropped from our DBA to better represent all that Second Wind does. Each of the projects we manage is further described on their own pages under the “About Us” tab.
Second Wind’s vision is to house and walk with people towards restored lives. To this end, SW seeks to improve the relationships with self, family, and the larger community. Accomplished by our mission to
- Provide housing, support, and encouragement to homeless and at-risk people in our community.
- Mentor residents in life skills needed to reintegrate into society and, when possible, family life.
- Practice living as good neighbors by building relationships amongst residents and the surrounding community.
- Sustain relationships and support residents who have moved on from Second Wind.
- Future projects include an on-site community center, a multi-unit house for women, and a multi-bay work garage.
Here, a higher end way to age and die in place.
Even some churches are attempting to get into the act!
Churches across the US are building tiny houses on spare land to accommodate homeless people, The Associated Press reported.
A number of faith leaders are working with nonprofits and affordable housing organizations to create the micro homes. They typically have a single bedroom and a small kitchen area and are being built on vacant land belonging to churches.
Tiny homes are becoming an increasingly popular solution to help tackle the homelessness crisis. More than half a million people were homeless in the US in 2020, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness’ most recent report, and 70% of those were individuals. (source)
Of course, that was 2020, and now we see Europe in the sewer for what has been happening with the U$A dictating how EuroTrashLandia will slide into more and more recession, joblessness, and homelessness. Finland ends homelessness and provides shelter for all in need
Yes, adults, seniors, so to speak, are in very precarious positions:
Why Are Seniors Homeless in America? (source)
Over the years, the number of homeless seniors aged 65 years and older in the U.S. has been increasing. Homelessness among older people aged 50-60 years is also increasing. Not all seniors have enough income and money saved to pay for a safe and stable place to live and other necessities such as food, utilities, and medication.
Homeless elders can face many challenges—especially health issues. Many don’t have enough money or insurance coverage to go to the doctor and get treatment. Some don’t trust health care and social services providers. Accessing public assistance programs can also be daunting to homeless elders. Some get discouraged by application processes, have a hard time getting to places to receive care and services, and refuse help.
The key to stable housing for older people and seniors is preventing eviction. State and local departments of social services often help with housing emergencies for the elderly and by providing housing for low income seniors. In many communities, religious organizations help homeless senior citizens by providing emergency housing assistance, case management, and money management services to maintain housing and prevent homelessness.
In May of 1990, the Citizens Committee for the Homeless, a Santa Cruz County nonprofit, began a new project by opening the gates of an organic garden on Pelton Avenue.
The Homeless Garden Project would provide job training and meaningful work in a therapeutic environment. The Homeless Garden Project began as a place to provide sanctuary, refuge, and meaningful work within the healing space of the organic farm. Blossoming over time and furthering the project’s benefits, the farm harvests have provided an opportunity to support our vision and community through our CSA program, farm stand, and crafts, which are sold at our local Santa Cruz stores and on-line.
We are genuinely humbled by the profound transformations our trainees make in our program, and the generous support provided by our community. Our purpose-driven nonprofit has proven to be a benefit to our neighbors in need, our community, and our environment. We couldn’t have done this without the continual generosity and support of our donors, volunteers, and CSA members. We are so grateful for each one of you.
This content originally appeared on Dissident Voice and was authored by Paul Haeder.