More than 200 Dow employees, 15 HandsOn Miami volunteers and local artists joined forces to create a multi-use outdoor area featuring gardens, poetry/meditation spaces and walking trail

Camillus House is pleased to announce the opening of a new outdoor area designed to support a host of therapeutic experiences for clients. The initiative was made possible by The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) and HandsOn Miami, part of the Points of Light HandsOn network.

The initiative’s genesis began with HandsOn Miami’s adoption of the project as a valuable resource offering great therapeutic benefits to persons recovering from homelessness at one of Miami-Dade’s largest social services agency. Through their advocacy and connection to Points of Light’s HandsOn network, the completion of the project was sponsored by Dow.

Dow’s interest and support in the project is aligned with the company’s goal of making true and lasting impact on societal challenges such as homelessness. Dow is also uniquely positioned to create global social impact by deploying their employees’ talents and their company resources where their capabilities and expertise in innovation, citizenship and sustainability intersect.

“Transformational efforts are never done alone and require meaningful collaborations with like-minded partners. We could not be more proud of the unique and complementary talents and resources brought by all the partners and volunteers to support this project and homelessness,” said Justin Land, Program Officer of Global Citizenship at Dow. “We not only believe that we can contribute to building stronger, more resilient communities…from South Florida to each of our communities around the world…but to also building a stronger company.”

Designed by Cadence, a leader landscape architecture company with social responsibility as their focus, 9,500 square feet of existing land that was previously damaged during Hurricane Irma has been transformed to provide Camillus House clients opportunities to engage in urban gardening; outdoor performances and spoken word readings; shaded sitting areas designed to encourage rest and reflecting; and a walking path.

The project’s landscaping, irrigation and planting of several large shade trees was underway in the weeks leading up to a large volunteer project involving more than 200 Dow employees from around the world and 15 HandsOn Miami volunteers. They helped build and paint the elevated planters for the garden; create the walking trail and other beautification projects throughout the campus, including painting a 100-foot mural designed by the Unconventional Group and artist Andrew Reid, which depicts the journey from helplessness and homelessness, to self-sufficiency for clients of Camillus House.

“Seeing this project come to fruition was very special for us at HandsOn Miami,” explained Dale Mandell, President/CEO of HandsOn Miami and HandsOn Broward. “The level of partnership between HandsOn Miami, Dow and Camillus House was perfect. Thanks to all the Dow volunteers who worked tirelessly to make it happen. It’s a collaboration we will never forget.”

“With a client population ranging from persons who are chronically homeless to survivors of human trafficking, and individuals struggling with mental health issues, the therapeutic impact of this initiative on those we serve is immeasurable,” explained Hilda M. Fernandez, CEO of Camillus House. “We feel blessed to have partners that understand how these enhancements will help foster a more holistic approach to helping individuals get back into society.”


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