SPY Garden Program
Located at 681 N. Venice Blvd., Safe Place for Youth’s Community Garden provides members with a safe and engaging outdoor environment that highlights food justice, community building, and healing. Through onsite internships and educational workshops, youth develop workforce and life skills, while cultivating greater self-esteem and self-sufficiency. Witnessing the full cycle of food growth, youth experiencing and/or at-risk of homelessness are offered meaningful work opportunities that highlight their resilience, creativity, and ingenuity.
SPY’s Community Garden is committed to serving the unique needs of its members by investigating and creating new systems of food distribution to unhoused youth in order to serve a mission of food equity. SPY’s Community Garden programming includes youth internships, workshops for community members and youth, quarterly farm dinners, plant sales, and a youth farmer’s market.
The SPY Community Garden Internship is an engaging and educational setting for youth to develop job skills that can be carried into related professions in the food industry. Through discussions, garden walks, and hands-on work hours, interns witness a full growing season and learn how to care for plants in many different contexts. Over the last 2 years, youth interns have continued on to jobs in landscaping, produce management in grocery stores, restaurants, and more.
Food Distribution & Community Engagement
Guided by tenets of food equity and community engagement, the SPY Community Garden is committed to growing food and distributing as much of it as possible to the youth we serve. We also welcome our unhoused neighbors to harvest food in the garden, and provide educational workshops and open volunteering days for those who wish to contribute to this community space.
The SPY Garden is the future site of a social enterprise. At our SPY Youth Farmer’s Market, plants, youth-made products and art, and produce will be for sale to the community. Through this endeavor, youth experiencing homelessness will gain paid work experience, have the opportunity to engage with community members, and practice their entrepreneurial skills!