The Peace Corps has developed its own food security plan, which it hopes will be the basis for a global peace corps food plan.The Peace Corps announced a plan last year that calls for planting "a total of 500 million trees" and growing 50 million acres of forest each year, the group said in a statement.The plan includes planting an additional 350 million trees in Africa and developing sustainable ...
A valley camping community is gaining momentum with a simple idea: build a camp that serves as a place for the mentally ill and homeless.
“We can’t just sit here and say, ‘Oh, you can’t come into our valley,’ ” said Sharon Wier, executive director of the Valley Hope Center in Bakersfield.
“If you’re going to live here, you have to be able to go to a place where you’re safe and comfortable.
You have to go out and work.”
The idea started as a way to offer refuge for people who had nowhere to go, said Wier.
The center hosts workshops, social gatherings, art shows, music and other activities for people with a range of disabilities and mental illness.
“We’re just trying to help people,” she said.
Wier’s community is part of a growing movement in the West.
Over the past five years, hundreds of small, family-owned or cooperative communities have sprung up in rural America to offer a place to seek refuge.
And while there are many ways to live a quiet life, there are also many ways for people to have a safe place to call home.
Wyrland’s community has created a place that helps people live off the grid, offering food, water and clean air, all without electricity or plumbing.
For those with mental health or substance abuse issues, the program helps them to find an alternative home.
For people living in crisis, such as those with depression or schizophrenia, the programs offer services such as employment, job counseling and drug counseling, as well as referrals to services and services providers.
Wier said the program is expanding into a larger group of people.
“I think the idea is to provide some kind of refuge for those that are struggling and have nowhere to turn,” she told ABC News.
“This is an attempt to offer some form of refuge, which is not always possible, but it’s something that people can do.”
Wier also said the community has provided a safe haven for homeless individuals and has a number of services for families that need them.
Wied’s camp is a unique community, she said, because it’s run by the same people who ran a shelter in nearby Teller, California, in the early 1990s.
“This was a really unusual situation,” Wier told ABC.
“It’s really unique, because there are no other shelters in this area.
They’re not allowed to have any kind of shelter or anything like that, so they had to make it a community shelter.
This was really a community-run shelter that was designed specifically for people living on the edge.”
Wier said people who come to the camp find that it is home.
“Theres a place in this community where you can just relax and feel safe,” she explained.
“You dont have to worry about being seen or being harassed, and you dont have the fear of being in a shelter.
It’s just like a place you can go.”
Wied said she’s been pleased with the results of the program so far.
“They have been so supportive,” she added.
“In a lot of cases, people who are on the fence about coming in have been really receptive.
Ive had people say they are really excited to have someone that is supportive of their mental health and not just looking to make a quick buck.”
She said it’s a great opportunity for those who are not able to live in a home or work to have an alternative.
“What we want to see is a change of attitude,” she stressed.
“That is really what we’re trying to do here.”ABC News’ John Santucci contributed to this report.