IGH Gardens

In God's Hands
IGH Gardens has grown from a desire to put one local’s talents to use for the benefit of the community; IGH grows upwards of 3,900 pounds of produce annually, and continually stuns with the bountiful crop and incredible size & quality of the produce. A non-profit “teaching garden” IGH focuses on donating produce to Women’s and Children’s shelters in the Metro Los Angeles area.

ABOUT Charles Southward

I am a USAF veteran who never experienced homelessness until I returned back to Riverside, CA. In August 2005, I was living with my Aunt near University California Riverside, not realizing that the multitudes of people carrying backpacks were not students until I became a member of that population in 2006.

Moving forward to June 2014, when I briefly found myself homeless again, the VA homeless program found me a home at the Salvation Army Bell Shelter. While there I volunteered in their small vegetable garden. Mrs. Alma Martinez, Associate Director of the shelter recognized my talents and offered me a small section approximately 1,150 square feet of land to produce healthy vegetables for the homeless. In exchange for the plot, it was my responsibility to farm the land at my own expense.

Thus IGH Gardens first planting began in September 2014, totally subsidized via my Social Security. Today, seven years later, the garden produces in excess of 3,900 lbs annually. IGH Gardens is now a non-profit dedicated to becoming a “teaching garden” and continues to donate proceeds to the homeless with special attention paid to Women’s and Children shelters in the Metro Los Angeles area.

-Charles Southward

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