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Home Depot Builds Garden, Patio Area for North Hills Vets PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Terry Sun | Contributing Writer   
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 22:54

Photo Courtesy of Home Depot

Too many armed forces veterans returning from active duty both home and abroad are struggling fit back in to society, be it find jobs or a place to live.

But there are people and businesses trying to help.

Home Depot has developed a five-year campaign where company officials will donate more than $80 million over the next five years for various projects. One such project opened on May 15: a garden to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for 147 local homeless veterans at New Directions Sepulveda in North Hills, a permanent supportive housing facility for homeless and disabled veterans.

Volunteers spent the day creating raised vegetable and herb plots in the garden, planting apple and fig trees, building planter benches, installing two flag poles and solar lighting throughout the garden, and constructing a sitting area that includes patio furniture and barbecue grills.

“One of of our core values is giving back,” said Kimberly Cherney a Team Depot district captain and store manager for the Home Depot store in Sylmar, who helped oversee the North Hills project.

Cherney went on to say how, on any given night, there may be as many as 60,000 veterans who are homeless; that 1.4 million veterans are at risk of homelessness; that women veterans, many with young children, are twice as likely to become homeless than their male counterparts; and nearly 1.5 million veterans live at or below the poverty line.

She said that Home Depot Foundation, as part of its SPRING into Service Campaign, seeks to provide edible gardens for 1,000 homeless veterans at transitional housing facilities across the country.

Since launching this mission in 2011, the Foundation has invested $65 million and contributed to the repair, retrofitting and construction of more than 10,000 units of veterans’ housing, according to the company.

The garden, consisting of nine planter boxes for vegetables and herbs, and the 1,000 square feet courtyard patio project at New Directions Sepulveda are valued at $15,000, Cherney said.

“What we did was create an area…to plant vegetables and herb gardens of all different types, and a place [for the veterans] to hang out and communicate with each other,” Cherney said.

The only requirement for the veterans is to water the garden and maintain the patio area, Cherney said.