"Gardens have been associated with health benefits that are becoming more well known.
The YMCA Safe Place in Louisville, in partnership with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, have cultivated a garden in order to teach homeless and unstably housed youth in the city responsibility and confidence.
The partnership was formed 4 years ago through a Children, Youth, and Families at Risk grant.
UK Family and Consumer Sciences Extension received the grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The garden at the Y was already in place, but through partnerships with businesses and other city organizations as well as volunteers, the garden was expanded.
Youth and young adults who come to YMCA Safe Place facilities have a chance to work in the garden.
Whatever they harvest goes to the kitchen for cleaning and storage until the items can be used in a meal.
For some youth, gardening brings back memories of loved ones, or makes them feel proud of their efforts and that they are learning life skills.
A change is noticeable in the youth that work in the garden and it is making them into stronger citizens."