Civic Group
Homeless Garden Project

In the soil of our urban farm, people find the tools they need to build a home in the world.

Years active: 30

Their story: In May 1990, the Citizens Committee for the Homeless opened an organic garden on Pelton Avenue with a goal of providing sanctuary, job training and other support to those experiencing homelessness. In the three decades since, the organization has built a 3.5 acre organic farm on the Westside of Santa Cruz where it provides education and experience in sustainable agriculture practices and volunteer opportunities. Key to this mission is reducing stereotypes and the stigma of homelessness. The farm operates a CSA (community supported agriculture) program to provide fresh produce to residents and runs two stores that sell locally made products using ingredients grown on the farm.

Fundraising focus: Support trainee wages and help them meet their basic needs. "Help us 'Grow The Impact' of our proven transitional employment program." More details here.

Darrie Ganzhorn
Darrie Ganzhorn
Executive Director

Darrie has worked with Homeless Garden Project since 1991 and has led the Project since 2008. Under Darrie’s leadership, the Project has developed the transitional employment program and its goals, grown revenue four-fold, and has successfully completed a 3.5 million capital campaign. Darrie has primary responsibility for vision and planning, fundraising, program direction, financial management, public relations and staff support of the Project’s Board of Directors.
(831) 426-3609, ext 12

Here amongst the flowers and vegetables we replant our own paths in life. We cry, laugh and work together. We push forward into all we are destined to become because we have been gifted with the time to grow on the farm at HGP.”

— Lienallie, a trainee