Heartwarming storiesabout individuals and organizations offering compassion and help the homelessabound and most of us enjoy being reminded of the goodness in our fellow humansand being presented with a ray of hope within what is a widespread challengethat faces our world and local communities; and while idealistic gestures thatare very often well-intending are certainly feel-good and help bringattention to the issue of homelessness, the issue itself remains.
While it has come topublic understanding that one of the biggest problems faced by homeless peopleis loneliness and lack of connection with other humans, the real issues ofbeing out of sync with the system itself remain and those issues need to beexplored and understood.
This is why the Metro AtlantaTaskforce for the Homeless, is catching some big mediaattention. The Taskforce is serving thehomeless in the community by allowing homeless people to serve themselves. A rooftop organic garden in the city isdesigned to feed displaced people green natural healthy foods and to establishroutine capabilities of self-sufficiency, otherwise known as Agorism.This truly allows individuals without homes the opportunity to empowerthemselves in tangible ways.
The rooftop garden,operated by the Metro Atlanta Taskforce for the Homeless, provides marginalizedindividuals routes through which their root problems can be addressed, ratherthan simply providing temporary solutions to cover symptoms.
“The idea is to produceenough to feed the residents something green and healthy daily,” said Carl Hartrampf, a board memberwho manages several garden operations.
The garden is tended byindividuals who live in the shelter and are considered volunteers as they trainand participate for the payment of healthy food they have helped growthemselves.
The garden is successfuland continuing to grow and thrive, having produced 55 pounds of vegetable injust the first season. The gardenfeatures about 80 beds which are home to many fruits and vegetables includingkale, carrots, radishes, chard, collards, squash, lettuce varieties and more.
If you’ve ever foundyourself upon hard times and received food offerings from a bank or a shelteryou will be well aware that the food generally provided is not fresh, is highlyprocessed, and is low in amino acids and raw nutritional value. For a persontruly in need, the food will be accepted gladly, but we all know that foodbecomes a part of who we are and thus contributes to our conscioiusness. Therefore it makes sense that if we intend tosupport a person in elevating their state of living, allowing them to eat beautifuland nutritious living foods will be part of that shift.
Food, though a wonderfulplace to start, could be considered just that: a starting point on a greaterunveiling. WE can see in our currentpolitical economic system that the wealth disparity is become a more and moremassive gap all the time and even people who in the past would have beencomfortable from their efforts and labor are now falling through the financialcracks so to speak. More and more average American people fall intohomelessness regularly as the capital and hours of work needed to survive inthe system grow in demand.
Yet despite the validityof this reality and these experiences, there is more to be experienced and seenand these beautiful and empowering organic garden projects for the homeless andin a myriad of other settings are part of a larger overall movement of thepeople empowering themselves by creating our own food sources and eliminatingthe middle man where possible.
According to The Huffington Post;
“[T]he rooftop garden,which was first established in 2009 [but this year apparently saw the firstharvest], serves as a means to teach homeless people about urban foodproduction and sustainable technologies, while also giving them the chance tofeed fellow residents, according to the group’s website.”
“Due to the lack ofindependent infrastructure and economic opportunity, people become jobless,homeless, and hopeless. If we worked with constant effort to shape the futureand build our economy back into the hands of the people, the youngergenerations can replace the old, hierarchical economic structures with theirown and prosperity could once again be ours.In a past Anti-Media article called “The Painfully Obvious Solution toHomelessness,” a solution was summarized:
There are currentlyenough empty houses in the U.S. and likely in the U.K. to house every personthat is living on the street; but due to our current onerous, centralizedeconomic system, the people that need these homes the most do not get access tothem. Alternatives like agorism must be pursued. Homelessness cannot be fixedby passing more laws, it’s our entire economic system, which breeds oppression,that needs to be overhauled.”
To support the AtlantaTask Force for the Homeless visit their website.