Safe House Gardening ProgramProject led by Welcome Home SIS
About the project.
The Get Fresh Garden is a current program initiated in January 2021 which serves as an opportunity for women in their transitional house to gain critical skills for sustaining themselves and securing future stability as they learn to cultivate and harvest their own food. The garden emphasizes the importance of health, promotes nutritional awareness, and results in healthier outcomes. Taking pride in the garden, their health, and learning self-sufficiency, ultimately kept the women crime-free and allowed Welcome Home SIS to further their mission of empowering women to break the cycles of trauma, addiction and incarceration.
The goals of the Get Fresh Garden expansion are to alleviate the effects of poverty by increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables in the community, as well as encourage healthy eating habits and improve nutritional awareness through education. The Get Fresh Garden expansion also aims to promote community involvement and initiate the beautification of the neighborhood all while keeping our neighborhoods safer for everyone by eliminating recidivism. Some areas with community gardens have shown a reduction in crime suggesting a sense of immunity.
In addition to the community garden, residents at Welcome Home SIS will receive training in food safety and handling to launch a social enterprise through which they learn the process of canning and producing jams, sauces, and preserves from the produce they have grown and harvested. They will also be provided with access to the required training and resources in alignment and as required by the State of Ohio’s cottage laws in order to sell their products to the local community.
FAO staff comments
Welcome Home SIS works with women who have been impacted by the criminal justice system. This specific project is using a social enterprise model that will enable the women served by the organization to develop specific skills in gardening and value-added agricultural production to provide them a future career path while benefitting from the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of time in nature.