Homeless Given New Life after Working on a 22-Acre Organic Farm

Posted by on February 6, 2016 in Conscious Business, Conscious Living with 29 Comments

Verde Farms and homeless

By Christina Sarich | Natural Society

Tackling homelessness, joblessness, and food insecurity all at once can seem like a daunting task, but Verde Farms in Miami, Florida is managing to do all three. The community farm has one saying: “For people, not for profit,” and they stay true to that credo.


All money spent at the Verde Community Farmers Market and restaurant go toward hiring and training at-risk community members to work on the farm and in the market, and to build infrastructure to support the program. Special consideration is given to Carrfour Supportive Housing’s Verde Gardens community.

When people purchase organically-grown fruit and vegetables, fresh-squeezed organic juices, edible organic plants, and other items, they are helping to support a sustainable community which was erected on an old military base that was shattered to ruins during Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

The program has given over 10,000 people new life, and supports more than 145 families with organic farming and an organic farmer’s market, kitchen, and café, with year-round classes that teach people how to farm organically and sustainably.

Verde Community members, many of whom have little or no prior work experience, learn enough through working there to prepare them for “real-world” jobs outside of the Verde community.

Resident, Alma Santos says of the farm, “It has forever changed our lives and made it possible to help others.” She and her fourteen-year-old son live and work there.

Stephanie Berman, president and CEO of Carrfour Supportive Housing, the nonprofit set up by the Chamber more than 20 years ago to develop and manage communities for low income people in South Florida, said:

“To see our vision for Verde Gardens finally coming to life is very exciting. We have seen the farm encourage self-sufficiency and togetherness among residents for two years now and hope that the restaurant will do the same.”

The Verde Gardens farmer’s market also, like many farmers markets nationwide, allows food stamp customers (SNAP-eligible) to receive up to $40 worth of fresh produce for just $20. That’s a one-two-three punch to homelessness, joblessness, and food insecurity for everyone involved.

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29 Reader Comments

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  1. 869796866470123@facebook.com' Francesca James says:

    Brilliant

  2. 10208327418324187@facebook.com' Lilaann Vernon says:

    Great job Florida, all need to follow in your steps.

  3. 901236923330692@facebook.com' Scellis Fosterscantleburry says:

    Cheers

  4. 513404652172551@facebook.com' Elna van der Walt says:

    Yes

  5. 10206208790436815@facebook.com' Jeanne Ham says:

    ????? problem solved!

  6. 226288344373176@facebook.com' Brian E. Ford says:

    You guys r amazing be nice see it more one of a kind!! Three birds 1 stone (y)

  7. 187761098247567@facebook.com' David Marr says:

    Hello Obama?

  8. 1667214156872548@facebook.com' Linda Hand says:

    Good. Way. To. Go

  9. 184936668532034@facebook.com' Ayelech Demeke says:

    Thank you so great!!! Good lesson for others

  10. 1674038922853677@facebook.com' Sharon Rahn-Edenfield says:

    Shelia Fort

  11. 231717187163874@facebook.com' Beverly Hale says:

    Great idea

  12. 1018966154808448@facebook.com' Imma Lima says:

    Good thing.!!!

  13. 10205824417711727@facebook.com' Cassandra Royce-Sanderson says:

    I love this concept!!

  14. 683527211785661@facebook.com' Janet Misevicz says:

    Bravo!

  15. 10153229611857554@facebook.com' Ayesha Alli says:

    great idea!

  16. 1040986539286707@facebook.com' Margaret Richaut says:

    Way to go, no doubt about it…

  17. 1689271984683034@facebook.com' Eileen Tyrrell Lassick says:

    Awesome

  18. 813691052093608@facebook.com' Patricia Cáceres Murillo says:
  19. 872905302830268@facebook.com' Jennie Scott says:

    Fantastic keep up the awesome work Bless all ??✝???

  20. 10153627579397798@facebook.com' Csilla Iaynarab says:

    I would make it a priority to buy from them.

  21. 1132636966746955@facebook.com' Jaqueline Pereira Batista says:

    Ótimo exemplo!!!

  22. 999700923423504@facebook.com' Dwana Hope says:

    Thanks for posting stories like this

  23. 483489248496322@facebook.com' Steven Hartley says:

    Ya if it was good produce.

  24. 181865745488811@facebook.com' Jess Blessing says:

    Most definitely !!!

  25. 10153833270933410@facebook.com' Deokie Birbal says:

    Fantastic idea

  26. 522558251256403@facebook.com' Leena Kshirsagar says:

    God Bless! 🙂

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