Check out the latest issue of AIArchitect for a feature story on Harvest Commons Apartments. The renovated SRO affordable housing project gives recently homeless residents access to supportive services and urban agriculture. The article includes an interview with new resident Verlena Simms:
“To me [Harvest Commons is] really different because we have the case manager on site, so if there’s anything that we need personally or professionally, we can just go downstairs and talk to someone,” says Simms. “But the biggest thing is the garden. I’m from the city, so we don’t have a lot of space in an urban area like this to just go and garden. I had never ever gardened in my life. All I have to do is go downstairs and the garden is right there.”
Residents (with the help of a staff gardener) will help grow some of the vegetables used in the on-site cafe. Though Simms previously wasn’t interested in developing a green thumb, she has begun taking the classes hosted by the staff gardener and recognized the opportunity to get involved. “[It’s] right here, so I thought, ‘Learn as much as you can, take it from start to finish, because it will benefit you in the end,’” she says.