Growing Home is an organization that is developing Chicago’s first year-round urban farm, the Wood Street Urban Farm in the Englewood neighborhood. CCLF’s $250,000 loan to Growing Home is financing a facility that grows organic vegetables year-round in the South Side community, helping to improve processing and storage capabilities at the site. Growing Home operates a transitional employment program for Chicagoans with multiple barriers to employment, most of whom have been previously incarcerated or previously homeless. Participants are offered six months of employment with training in general job-readiness and specific skills in organic agriculture. Growing Home program participants work and train four days a week from the beginning of April through the middle of October. Farm training includes skills such as planting, cultivation and harvesting. Over 150 individuals have benefited from Growing Home’s job training programs, while countless Chicagoans have benefited from increased availability of local, organic produce.
CCLF’s flexible financing allows us to support a wide array of projects that benefit low- to moderate-income neighborhoods throughout the Chicago metropolitan area.