In 2008 and 2009, Welcome helped many of our formerly homeless guests in the Polk Gultch District of San Francisco move into marginal housing. While the single room occupancy (SRO) hotel rooms help meet some of our participants need for shelter, they created new needs for the guests in terms of addressing their food needs. Often with strict rules about appliances to heat food or limited access to communal kitchen spaces, housed guests are still dependent upon food pantries and food programs.
In 2010, Welcome created the Urban Share Community Garden Project to respond to the changing food and nutrition needs residents around the Bay Area. Welcome continues to share what it learned building community gardens with congregations around the country. If your congregation is interested in replicating our garden project, please contact us so we can support your efforts.
Urban Share Community Gardening:
Urban Share Community Gardening Project transforms unused church
properties into community gardens to grow free produce. Welcome has
created community gardens at Bethlehem Lutheran in West Oakland,
Shepherd of the Hills in Berkeley and St. Paulus and St. Mark's Lutheran
churches in San Francisco. More than 9,000 pounds of food have been
harvested from these gardens since February of 2010.
The Free Farm: A
community farm created on the ashes where St. Paulus Lutheran Church
used to be before it burned down in the early 90's. Since its creation
in 2010, more than 8,593 pounds of free food have been harvested and
given away to it's neighbors. This project is in partnership with St.
Paulus Lutheran Church, SF CARES, the Free Farm Stand and Produce to the