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Abandoned Houses

The problem my group was presented with was the problem of solving the issue of excessive amounts of abandoned houses in an area. Abandoned houses which are boarded up and run down bring down the visual appeal of a neighborhood and attract a lot of unwanted attention. They are also unsafe for possible children living in the neighborhood who may be tempted to sneak in. This makes possible buyers of houses in the are wish to not move to that specific area. This problem tends to make neighborhoods unsafe in the sense that they attract people to unlawfully use those houses for their own reasons which often times result in making the neighborhood more dangerous. The abandoned houses also are taking up space that could be used in a more productive and effective way, to bring the community together, to be used by those in need, or to make the neighborhood more visually appealing. Our group was tasked with creating a plan to use those abandoned houses in a creative way that would benefit those living in the area.
Our group decided to convert the abandoned houses into community gardens. The community gardens would make the neighborhood more visually appealing as well as bring the community together. We would have to knock down the houses with the help of volunteers from companies and volunteers within the community who want to beautify the area. The community garden would be run mostly by volunteer work and would be self-sustaining after it was up on running. The volunteers could be people from the community who wish to take up gardening as a hobby or from the other groups. We arranged with several groups to get volunteers to the garden as a fun activity for the battered men, women, and children who were looking for a way to escape their situations and take their mind off of this situations. We also agreed to provide supplies to the group dealing with the problem of homelessness, providing them with houses in the area that they could fix up to house their people and to provide them with food to be able to feed all the people as long as they agreed to help keep the garden up on running by volunteering their residents from the homeless shelter to work in the gardens on their free time.
This project would mostly be funded by fundraisers. We had hoped to get a large amount of the supplies needed to be donated by people who no longer had a use for them or for those who wanted to work in the garden as a hobby to bring their own gardening supplies. We also hoped we would get funding from people within the community who would want to donate money to beautify the community if they don’t wish to get their hands dirty working in the garden. We also hoped to get lots of volunteers to help out in the garden to keep it running and to help raise money to gather the gardening supplies. After the garden was up and running we had thought of putting together events near the garden such as a little festival with little rides and games for the children, where you would have to pay a small amount to ride or play, to enter the festival people would also pay a small fee to enter. After the garden starts to grow some produce, the food that is not used by the homeless shelter could be sold at a local farmers market and the funds from those sales could go back into funding to keep the garden in good condition and running for a long time. To keep people from vandalizing the garden we also planned to build a small fence around the area and to have specific operating hours and to only give a key to the people in the community who use the garden as a hobby. After we start making some money from selling the produce we also thought about hiring someone from the homeless shelter as a part-time employee and pay them to keep the garden safe from people who wished to vandalize it.
By converting the abandoned houses in an area into a community garden that would benefit everyone in the community we hoped that it would bring people together and to beautify and make the community better. By having a community garden we could provide food for those in the area who can not afford it and we can also provide an outlet for people who wish to pick up a hobby. The community garden would make the area more visually appealing and would also provide a part-time job for someone who needs to get off of their feet or could be used as a field trip by after school clubs and national honors society students who want to gain some volunteer hours.


um6dean's picture

I was from the group focusing on the issue of homelessness. I'm glad that in working on this project, our two groups were able to come together to find ways that we could help each other, in order to allow both of us as well as other groups towards achieving our overall goal of improving the community. 

Additionally, I think you did a wonderfully thorough job explaining the problem, process, program, and projected outcomes for your area of focus. I can see the community gardens now :)

UM061Johnson's picture

I love how you had mentioned about tearing down the old houses and transforming the lots into community gardens. But my main question is how would the gardens themselves be kept up with all of the maintenence that they may need?