SF Garden Communities- Octavia-Lily St. Garden- SF Homeless, P...
SF Homeless & Not-So-Homeless Garden Volunteers Needed Now !
SF Garden Communities are being created everywhere to help improve community building, provide locally grown produce and safe spaces where we can all be productive and healthy, as localized, diverse & united communities everywhere.
These videos show SF Homeless residents, Gardener Joseph (SF First P.O.W.E.R. Team), Judith Klain, Director (SF Project Homeless Connect -SFPHC), Henry Belton, (Chair- SF Shelter Monitoring Committee -SF SMC), local Hayes Valley Neighborhood residents (HVN Assn. Members, too) & garden Designer John Bela (from ReBargroup.org ) working to create a Garden Community on two plots at Octavia-Lily Streets where 15 homeless & 15 not-so-homeless residents can grow together & share in the harvest from these gardens. (Growing Home concept from Chicago?).
Another group of homeless & formerly homeless residents are helping SF First P.O.W.E.R. Team member (James Leonard, local homeless advocate & former SF SMC Member (nominated by Fr. Hardin -St. Anthony's Foundation) are working on getting the City to donate another parcel of land, 200 sq. ft.) to create a combo farm, micro-biz espresso cafe (to teach retailing & money handling skills); green house lab (so DPH & students/teachers can study botany & medicinal uses) for herbs. And a community space for peer outreach, town hall like meetings, etc.
There is room there to place about 35 or 40 planting boxes (four foot square) with aisles for easy care & access which will likely use the PBS Series' Square Foot Gardening methods, by Mel Bartholomew.
This enables us to invite PBS (and NPR & local affiliates like KALW, KQED) to share in the fun with opportunities for doing stories, documentaries & promotions; leading to more volunteers, outreach, exposure and funding leads.
For example, at the 5th annual SF Project Homeless Connect event last month, Levi Strauss Foundation gave our Joseph the Gardener a certificate $100 worth of Levi Jeans & a $10,000 dollar donation to get this Octavia Garden Project off the ground.
We have two very good gardeners jumping on board. One is the garden artist who does most of Haight, North Beach & Mission District street plantings (using his own money, seeds, plants, planters) for the past 40 years, plus.
The other volunteer does a roof top garden now (Apollo Hotel in the Mission), & worked for several years for St. Anthony Foundation on St. Anthony's Farm (which we believe has been sold).
To request a Garden Volunteer Application or learn more about SF Project Homeless Connect, email Director Judith Klain, ( Judith.Klain@sfdph.org ) or email James Leonard, community advocate ( SFBaySurf@gmail.com, who can also give you more information about SF First's P.O.W.E.R. (Peer Outreach Workers Exemplifying Recovery) Team - a 12 week self-empowerment course with a 75% graduation & housing/work/vocational program success rate, so far.
SF First P.O.W.E.R. Members do peer outreach & provide support to SF Hot/SF Most, SF First Clients & Staff. 4 or 5 of Members created their own tasks as Health Safety Monitors (at Main SF Public Library) to be role models & a buffer between library patrons (some are ill, homeless, poor, desperate or disabled) & often overbearing, heavy handed security staff.
80% of SF residents referred by our team ther, to SF HOT offices go off the streets & ito some form of housing within weeks, instead of months.
Our people did such a great job at reducing harm, violence, improving safety & saving lives (at no cost to the library) - now five of team members have been hired on as SF Libary Staff employees, doing the work that they chose to do.
The SF First POWER program's in danger of being cut unless you all speak out. Tell the Mayor and Board of Supervisors & city agencies -this program is about the most efficient, smart, non-structured, self empowering program to date, that WORKS !
Email SF Mayor Gavin Newsom and SF Board of Supervisors & everyone you know about these Garden Communities & the SF First POWER team (originated by SF homeless clients & Mr. Eric Bayer -SF Hot/SF First/RCI Mentor) who treated us with absolute kindness & unconditional love.
Eric went against the tide of traditional methods (top down, do as we say or you're back out in the street... for 15+years !!) & with Rann Parker's cautious blessings -started up a weekly foot clinic & the 1st Cup Friday Socials.
Which we've been going to for the past two years to enjoy healing; organic meals & food to take home (yes, those organic berry smoothies you heard about) which healed us AND gave us safe spacea to be in WITHOUT A STRUCTURE.
After several dozen of us had safe space & time to heal naturally with love, kindness, foot rubs & good food, we were able to reach a base line point of initial recovery.
A point in recovery (from whatever) where we can begin - to really listen & actually make solid decisions based on real wants, needs & self motivation, instead of faking a program due to fear of loss, punishment or just to get the goodies of being in a program, any program (jumping hoops).
Eric allowed us to make real change (inside our selves) for real, instead of just going through the motions like we'd done in every other program which was run from the top down, with lots of sticks & very scrawny carrots as rewards...
Every program that tries to overlay -their ideas- onto people suffering from lack of sleep, malnutrition & trauma WILL FAIL because people they are trying to help are not in any kind of normal physical or mental state to respond properly. They must be mostly healed & feel safe BEFORE any kind of treatment or program can even be started.
The fact that this SF First POWER program is completely client driven (their dreams, their own jobs, tasks, goals and plans) with all the good carrots & no sticks or punishment routines- enabled us to step up & own, manage, care for, evolve and grow our own stipend work, the way the we wanted.
Not what some other case manager or social worker wanted...
It's hard to fail when you, yourself, were trusted & are given the freedom to make your own road (choose your own job).
The only people who failed (the 25%) had major issues or were not ready to be empowered. Some that failed Phase 1 were re-contacted & brought back into Phase II, without penalty or reprimand.
They were treated like human adults, who failed, but so what?
They were never given up on by SF Power & were not punished for failing... unlike almost all other well established programs which are not created or owned by homeless people themselves, which use punishment, fear & manipulation to make it look like people are recovered for a few weeks or months, but since they 'did it all' to please a person in authority or to avoid punishment or being kicked out on the streets, they usually lapse back into their old ways.
When a person owns their own road, they tend to take better care of it & you can achieve lasting recovery. This is why the National Coalition for the Homeless & other groups say that without client design, inception, ownership, management and complete transparency, nearly all programs will fail & have failed.
By real client empowerment, trust & faith in our own people, even the ones who seem like the worst among us, we can slow down the revolving doors of captive shelter & housing systems- exponentially increasing percentages of recovery & job creation, in a sustainable, peer mentoring way.
Which just goes to show- when you use love, kindness & courage in social work- you can have lasting results and high positive impact in the community when we are allowed to be safe & be our selves without jumping through short sided hoops set up by people who have never walked a day in our shoes.
NOTE: Please view or download the clips in the order in which the 22 minute video was split up - into 3 short parts: 1 of 3, 2 of 3, 3 of 3. The 4th video on You Tube is 2 minute test short.
These are lower quality clips for the internet and sound is not that great so listen to them carefully to get what the speakers and guests are expressing.
If you want your own copy of the finished high quality video in one file (for educational purposes only) - email us ( SFHomeless@yahoo.com ) so we can get back to you online with the complete video for you.
SF Homeless Yahoo! Group Moderators
Renaldo & Mario...