The Issue: On-the-Job Training and Safety
“Climbing out of homelessness is virtually impossible for those without a job,” the National Coalition for the Homeless reported in 2009. Yet jobs often require skill sets that people experiencing homelessness lack the opportunity to acquire. Workforce-development programs can equip underserved people with marketable skills in landscaping and urban farming through hands-on, on-the-job training. But in such fields, proper safety equipment is vital to helping apprentices learn the tools of the trade and avoid workplace injuries—which are on the rise nationally in the agriculture industry, according to a report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Campaign: Outfitting Apprentices with Safety Gear
If 15 people donate $10 to this Grassroots campaign, then Alameda Point Collaborative can outfit one landscape apprentice with safety gear. This includes a pair of work gloves, two pairs of protective earmuffs, a pair of work boots, and a pair of chainsaw safety chaps or a beekeeping suit. Each additional $150 raised will provide complete safety gear to another landscape apprentice. For every five donations made to this campaign, Ploughshares Nursery, APC’s retail plant nursery, will plant a tree or shrub in the community.
Landscape apprentices participate in APC’s workforce-development program, learning skills in farming and raising plants. Students complete 288 classroom training hours and 2,000 paid work hours within a two-year period. Throughout this time, they work on APC’s 34 acres of property under the expert eye of a seasoned instructor.
Alameda Point Collaborative
What was once vacant military housing is now a thriving community, thanks to Alameda Point Collaborative. In 1999, APC transformed the vacant space into a permanent supportive-housing community that 500 formerly homeless residents—including more than 300 children and young adults—now call home. Residents gain access to resources that can help break the cycle of poverty and homelessness, from job-skills training to substance-abuse and mental-health counseling. Along with 200 housing units across 34 acres, APC operates Ploughshares Nursery, a retail plant nursery that provides residents with opportunities to learn skills in customer service, landscaping, and urban farming.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.