Growing Hope left the Verde Gardens project in 2014 to focus solely on Grimal Grove. For more information about Verde Gardens contact Carrfour Supportive Housing http://carrfour.org
12700 SW 128th Street
Homestead, FL 33032
(Located next to the Homestead Air Force Base and Job Corps)
Built in South-Miami Dade at the former Homestead Air Force Base, Verde Gardens combines 145 LEED-certified “green” town homes for formerly homeless families with disabilities and a 22-acre organic farm which includes a produce nursery and an on-site public farmer’s market.
This novel idea was inspired by the Miami Dade Homeless Trust, in an effort to empower residents by combining a safe
living environment with the possibilities that come with entrepreneurial self-enterprise, by engaging and empowering the community through the land and market.
Carrfour Supportive Housing, a leader in low income housing programs in Miami-Dade County, has developed and manages the housing and community. Citrus Mental Health performs the case management for residents, while Earth Learning is tasked with the development of the farm and market.
Growing Hope’s Mission a Verde Gardens
GHI Director, Patrick Garvey, completed Earth Learning’s Permaculture Design Courses and two farmer apprenticeships assisting on the development of the farm from Aug 2011 – March 2012 thereby coming into contact with the Verde Gardens Community. Although interest in community life as well as farming was high, there was still very little community engagement and in turn very little community participation.
Development Through Grants and Social Media:
During his time at Verde Gardens in 2011, Mr. Garvey wrote the proposal for the “BEST Neighborhhods” grant, funded by Volunteer Florida, called Volunteer Verde which was awarded in December of 2011, with a goal of uniting the community through volunteer managed events. The project was documented and the idea for Growing Hope Productions began to take shape.
On the heels of this success GHI applied for the Youth Advisory Board State Farm Grant in conjuction with partner and lead agency Earth Learning, as well as Carrfour, the Verde Gardens community council, Mandarin Lakes K-8 school, and other community stake
holders and in August of 2012 this grant was also awarded bringing with it recognition and acclaim for this unique project. Through the mentorship of GHI, this grant was selected, written, and inspired by the youth of Verde Gardens. They decided to implement a community-wide composting initiative to help build and re-vitalize the soil on their farm. Included in the proposal the youth voiced a desire to learn the art of film making so as to document their progress and become an example for other youth organizations by utilizing social media. The grant allowed for hands on training with industry professionals, who conduct workshops on writing, filming and editing the contents of their story.
Here is an example of a video that was shot and directed by the youth of Verde Gardens during a weekend workshop:
In the fall of 2012 the Corporation for National and Community Service awarded the “Best Neighborhoods” grant for the second year in a row to Verde Gardens. This grant
addresses the importance of a volunteer resource center to identify and meet all the needs in the community. Patrick Garvey built a team comprised of both residents and non residents who have have helped to initiate social changes and empowerment programs at Verde Gardens.
Patrick Garvey was awarded Best New Volunteer Administrator in Florida by FAVRM, and Volunteer Verde was nominated as Most Innovative Volunteer Program in Florida.