The NorthStar Neighborhood launch
The NorthStar Neighborhood exists to purchase farmland to build a place of meaningful employment, pride, friendship, and community for intellectually and developmentally disabled adults in the east Pierce County region.
The goal of “The Farm” is to employ a workforce not otherwise employed by area businesses, develop skills associated with agriculture, provide meaningful and fulfilling work experiences, and to provide social interaction and community with peers in a supported setting.
“The Farm” will employ, as it’s primary workforce, adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Individuals who require a little more assistance to be successful who at present have very limited, if any, options for employment. Jobs will include animal care, soil preparation, planting, tending, weeding, harvesting, selling of products, general maintenance and construction, and land stewardship.
Also employed by The Farm will be staff who have the appropriate skills to oversee, mentor, and assist the employees. Social workers, occupational therapists, healthcare workers, educators, farmers, and building and grounds maintenance professionals.
The work week will be a standard Monday through Friday schedule, with the flexibility to accommodate more or less working hours on any given day. We understand that I/DD individuals needs vary daily and so must their work expectation. Minimum wage and payroll taxes will be paid for all worked hours. A set work day will allow the families and caregivers of the employees the opportunity to themselves work or pursue activities outside the home.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that less than 18% of people with a diability have jobs. That's *everyone* with a diability. Employment rates for people with a disability significant enough to require considerable oversight are far lower.
In providing the employee with a predictable schedule and a place of work, we are supporting their families and caregivers by offering respite. Our goal in supporting the families of these young adults is that they may continue to live in the family home and not rely on the state for residential placement.
Our greater community will benefit from locally sourced agricultural products, more individuals in the workforce and outside the home, and a connected social network for individuals who typically lack a support structure.
We are not the first to build a program like this. It's happening in many other states and watching their impact is exciting and we're anxious to follow their lead.
If you'd like to phsically join us in a fundraiser trail run, please check out our stroller and wheelchair friendly 2K, and our 5k and 10 mile trail runs coming up on January 27th in Bonney Lake, WA.
Buy the Farm registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/buy-the-farm-presented-by-rainier-crossfit-tickets-40950832041?aff=es2
For more information: http://thenorthstarneighborhood.org
Join our growing community: https://www.facebook.com/TheNorthStarNeighborhood/
Help us get started, then come see what we're growing.
See you at The Farm!
The reason we're raising money (and A LOT of it) is two fold. We need the down payment for the agricultural property that will house the farm, and the property we currently have our eyes on (wishwishwish) doesn't have bathrooms.
So *if* we get to purchase this property, the very first thing we will need to do is design, permit, and install a septic system and then build a break room/ restroom facility.
So that number of there ---->
that really big one...
It's our "pie in the sky" number.
Every donation helps us get closer. We don't plan on doing this alone. We need your help, our friends, but we'll be hitting up some bigger partners, too.
We're just getting started.
Oh, and I still need a name for "The Farm"
I'm looking toward the skies again - constellations, stars, anything related to farmers.
Did you know the Isidore (Spanish: San Isidro Labrador) is the Patron Saint of Farmers? I was looking for a necklace the other day and found Kurtis's Saint Michael, the Patron Saint of Police Officers and it made me wonder.
So farm names... any ideas?