Download Stanley at work in the rose garden.
Little I’ve done here makes me prouder than our wonderful new job readiness pilot program partnering with Bridges Outreach. This program is to help foster employment for those of our friends who are experiencing homelessness. Our dedicated horticulture and facilities staff work hand in hand with a vetted Bridges candidate to offer basic gardening and facilities skills at the Arboretum, with job interviews and possible placement as the ultimate goal.
We’ve lucked out with our first candidate, Stanley Simms. Stanley is a lovely, gentle, dedicated and articulate man. He works hard and has definitely become part of our team. We look to this program as an extension of our horticulture and environmental education mission, and it is truly an opportunity to cultivate people.
Bridges Outreach (www.bridgesoutreach.org) has been providing the necessities to people experiencing homelessness for almost 30 years. Reeves-Reed Arboretum has been transforming lives through nature-rich experiences for well over 40 years. This summer the Arboretum and Bridges have launched this remarkable partnership that brings together the best of both organizations and, potentially, can be modeled by similar organizations moving forward.
In Stanley’s own words, “I am so grateful for the opportunity and I’m very, very happy here (at Reeves-Reed Arboretum). The staff came out to greet me on my first day and that made me feel very special. I planted a patch of flowers and the next day, as I walked past them, I felt a true sense of belonging – like I might be part of a new family.”
Reeves-Reed Arboretum, in working together with Bridges Outreach, furthers the Arboretum’s vision and mission to create a legacy of service. Please help us share the news of this wonderful new program!