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Opinion

NCCH official thanks Hoban JAM program

12/6/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

The seeds were sown by Archbishop Hoban High School volunteers and the harvests were many as we wrap up this year’s growing season for our newly developed tenant gardens for North Coast Community Homes (NCCH).

It was an incredible experience of a ripple effect of efforts to work with Hoban students and adult volunteers alongside our wonderful NCCH tenants who are in recovery for their mental illness.

What the students and the parent volunteers created over the summer was not just a garden, but also a sense of self-worth and the feeling of being needed for many tenants who continued to maintain the gardens and then share the produce with their neighbors.

One such tenant had a history of being homeless for 10 years prior to moving in to one of our NCCH apartments approximately a year ago at the age of 25 — ironically, homeless at the age of 15 compared to the age of some of the Hoban student volunteers. He truly enjoyed the opportunity to work on the gardens with the Hoban crews, and he now volunteers his time to maintain these endeavors on a weekly basis, as he states that he enjoys helping people.

There is already energy brewing for next year’s plans of tenant gardens as discussions were abundant from a recent “celebration of the garden” cookout. And, yes, produce grown from the gardens was part of the feast.

It was an honor to create new gardens with two crews of Hoban students at two of our 21 housing sites over this past summer. The Hoban students were incredible, inquisitive, compassionate and hard working. It was impressive to see the same dedication from Hoban’s adult volunteers and organizers.

NCCH develops and maintains housing for those who are in recovery of mental illness in Summit County and has a total of 120 independent apartments in scattered sites. NCCH is proud to be a part of the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADM) Board and gratefully linked with Community Support Services to help our tenants live as independently as possible.

This was an incredible experience of community connections to link with the Hoban JAM program! This is truly a season to be thankful.

Janice Stahl, manager, North Coast Community Homes

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