Volunteers of America - Independence Hall is a transitional living facility for 20 formerly homeless veterans located in the Billings Heights area. A garden is being developed next to the residential building where the veterans will grow their own fresh produce. By growing and harvesting their own vegetables and fruits, the veterans will decrease their reliance upon food assistance programs while increasing their overall food security, as fresh and nutritious foods will be just a few steps away.
Many local community members and businesses have made this garden possible through generous donations of labor and materials. The Salvation Army also provided the donation of a small greenhouse so the residents of Independence Hall will be able to extend their growing season as well. Not only will the garden provide a readily accessible source of fresh foods, but gardening will also provide a great form of recreational therapy. Many of the veterans have extensive gardening experience, and will be able to share their knowledge and experiences with less seasoned gardeners.
Community members and gardening experts will continue to play an essential advisory role to ensure success in the project's first year, summer 2011, and sustainability and expansion in years to come.