We invite you to join our community by contributing your time or financial resources to this unique program that merges environmental stewardship with human services.
For 26 years, EarthLinks has been cultivating personal transformation and self-worth with people experiencing homelessness and poverty. By creating opportunities through Earth-centered programs, individuals step out of isolation and into community – restoring each other and the planet.
The EarthLinks Workshop is a social-enterprise program where participants who are homeless and low-income do organic gardening and create Earth-friendly products, and are paid an hourly stipend for their work. Participants work weekly in our Peace Garden and craft workshop, and set and work toward achieving personal goals, such as acquiring housing, staying in recovery, pursuing education, or working on personal relationships.
We are a successful social enterprise with a coffee shop at 13th and Decatur, an online and retail store for gifts and handmade body products, and a garden that produces food for our Participants and community members in need.
Numbers, while important, often do not capture the true impact of our program. As one participant affirms, "It's about what goes on mentally, spiritually, emotionally inside those gates." Indeed, as another participant explained in an interview last year, "EarthLinks is our little bit of Eden on Earth; 2200 sq ft. that helps feed us and other homeless individuals in Denver." In this little bit of Eden, participants find respite from the friction and demands of daily life in Denver. As one resident said, "I come in here, and I get to use my hands, and it's calming.: Another participant echoes this sentiment, saying that at EarthLinks, "It's tranquil." Still, amidst the peace of this place, there is activity and action: As one participant told us last year, "There are so many things to do here, and so many things to learn… No matter how long you've been here and how much you know, you're always learning." Another describes an important aspect of this learning process: she said that she thinks to herself, "I don't have to do it by myself, so maybe I can do it [with help].' And then [I] think, 'maybe I can do it myself.'" That same participant recently said that, thanks to EarthLinks, "I have never in my life felt like I have had more people behind me. I know that no matter how hard things in my life get, I'm not alone." One participant sums up their experience at EarthLinks with this profound statement: "I am very glad to work for EarthLinks, they have saved my life."
"You get out of this program what you put into it. I'm proud to say that I work here, I represent. EarthLinks is more than just a garden- it's family, it's support, it's people who love me even when I didn't love myself, and my family didn't at that point either. I wouldn't be where I am without this community, I don't even know if I would be alive."
"EarthLinks has been therapeutic for me with hardships that I go through. It helps being able to come here and get away from my thoughts for a while, do something different, and to lose myself in something else instead of worrying about things. When I am feeling my worst, that's when I come here because it makes me feel better about my life, and I can face another day."