For vulnerable Victorians experiencing homelessness, The Rooftop Garden at Elizabeth Street Common Ground (ESCG) is planting seeds of hope. The garden has been shortlisted as a finalist in this the 2016 Victoria in Bloom garden competition.
The Cook, Grow and Go! Program teaches our most vulnerable community members who have experienced chronic homelessness how to grow edible plants and how to shop and preparing simple, affordable meals.
Beyond providing housing that is permanent, safe and affordable The Common Ground projects works with the CAE and Launch Housing tenants to teach independent living and healthy lifestyle skills— from horticulture and nutrition, to cooking and money management.
“Living at ESCG has changed my life. I no longer feel or am a burden on services or people. For me, Elizabeth Street Common Ground has been the only safe place I have ever lived, been cared about, supported, protected, guided and encouraged to start living and not just existing.” said one ESCG tenant.
Not only is this program changing lives, but now all their hard work is being recognised as finalists of the Victoria in Bloom garden competition. The winner will be announced at a ceremony on the Surf Coast next Wednesday, Feb 17, 2016.
The Cook, Grow and Go! Program manages the garden, and uses the food in weekly meals. Resources for the garden and kitchen are provided through the generous support of Launch Housing.