The HELP Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, recently broke ground on the site of their new greenhouse facility on Shore Center Drive in Euclid. The mission of the HELP Foundation is to assist mentally disabled clients of all ages with day services, summer programming and vocational training. The Foundation will build its greenhouse on a vacant parcel of land next door to the Foundation’s adult day services. Formerly the site of a car wash, the Cuyahoga Land Bank acquired the property through tax foreclosure and donated the vacant lot to the HELP Foundation.
The new greenhouse will be used for vocational training programs preparing clients for outside employment opportunities. It will feature nearly 3,000 square feet of hydroponics and an attached classroom for workplace training when completed. City of Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail, HELP Foundation Board members, and community stakeholders took part in a groundbreaking ceremony at the site in mid-July.
“The Cuyahoga Land Bank was key to successfully obtaining the land for our HELP Harvest Greenhouse,” says Tamara Honkala, President & CEO of HELP. “They tracked the land though the foreclosure process and facilitated our acquisition of the property. The Land Bank recognized that our greenhouse program would offer important benefits to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well our community and helped make it happen.” The Land Bank is pleased to have played a role in this project which is linked to two other initiatives, including a training kitchen and a restaurant, which all together will substantially grow the organization’s capacity to deliver on its mission.