Humanities Foundation launches community program

  • Friday, April 25, 2014

SCAIPC volunteers recently helped plants gardens at Grandview Apartments. PROVIDED

The Humanities Foundation announced their new Community Involvement Program (CIP). The goal of CIP is to expand participation by businesses, faith groups and other community organizations in the foundation's Resident Services program. The low-income families and individuals residing in the foundation's affordable housing properties benefit from this program's efforts to provide supportive services and educational and enrichment opportunities.

The South Carolina Aging in Place Coalition's (SCAIPC) and Northwood Baptist Church have recently provided excellent examples of ways to participate in the Community Involvement Program. First, on March 28, SCAIP Outreach Committee volunteers worked with the older adult residents of Grandview Apartments to plant a spring vegetable garden. In addition to these members donating their time, the coalition also contributed plants and soil.

This garden project represents a successful collaboration that Humanities Foundation wants to replicate with their Community Involvement Project. SCAIPC is a nonprofit coalition of organizations whose mission is to help seniors age in place successfully in their chosen residences, and Humanities Foundation is a member of this coalition. Six of the foundation's 10 affordable housing communities are for older adults, and supporting aging in place for their residents is a priority for the 22-year-old nonprofit organization.

Resident participation was a critical part of this collaboration. Grandview resident Ellen Hornsby spearheaded the construction of the garden and will coordinate its maintenance. Two additional partners in the project were JDC Management (property managers for Humanities Foundation communities), which created the raised garden beds last year, and Home Depot and Lowes, which contributed plants, seeds and soil.

The second group providing an example for Humanities Foundation's Community Involvement Project was Northwood Baptist Church. Located near the foundation's Ivy Ridge Apartments (a community for families), this faith group invited those residents to enjoy an outdoor block party along with their congregation.

The assistance provided by SCAIPC and Northwood Baptist Church exemplifies two of many possible models for ways to join Humanities Foundation's Community Involvement Program. The church's occasion is the first step in their participation in the Foundation's Adopt-a-Property initiative. This program develops ongoing partnerships between faith groups, businesses and other organizations and a particular foundation property to create a unique agenda that fills the needs of those residents. Some of these partnerships include food pantries, after-school and youth programs, holiday parties, counseling, life skill instruction, continuing education, health screenings and other activities.

SCAIPC's assistance with Grandview's garden is another option for organizations to provide support to Humanities Foundation's low-income residents. This type of project-basis help also benefits the affordable housing residents.

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