Urban garden used to feed and train homeless - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Urban garden used to feed and train homeless

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

It's a garden with a purpose planted in the middle of downtown Phoenix.

It's on a street corner where many homeless gather and now some of them are getting together to learn how to garden.

The radishes, carrots and tomatoes will be used in meals at St. Vincent de Paul.  And many of the people who eat those meals are helping to grow the food.

It's all part of a program put on by the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension and Maricopa County's Human Services Campus.

Not only do the volunteers want to provide great food for the organization but they want to train people how to farm.

"Very fundamental landscaping and gardening skills that a lot of people don't know.  And so we have the contacts with the farmers and the landscape companies and we hear so often that they need skilled labor and so we're trying to provide that," said Haley Paul from the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension of Maricopa County.

Another benefit for folks working in the garden - it can be therapeutic to get outside and work the land.

"I've been out here for two months but this clears my head ... what I want to do with my life and focusing on what I want to do with my future," said Tony, a man who volunteers in the garden.

"When I clear my head, I dig the mounds over there.  That's my favorite thing to do out here. I come out here and dig mounds, break a sweat. Work hard," Tony added.

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