US (OH): Help Foundation in Euclid uses greenhouse to teach skills to developmentally disabled

The Help Foundation has a hydroponic greenhouse in Euclid that they use to teach individuals with developmental disabilities valuable skills for the workforce. The greenhouse, located at 22701 Shore Center Drive, is 4000 square feet and has an attached classroom students learn how to handle the various plants.

Tami Honkala, CEO of Help Foundation, said they use curriculum-based programming and classes to help people with developmental disabilities learn how to interact in a professional setting.

“We aren’t just teaching people how to work in a greenhouse. We are teaching them valuable skills for any employment opportunity they may have, such as how to get along with your coworkers, how to work with customer service,” Honkala said. “We want to prepare these individuals for whatever comes their way in life. We don’t want their disabilities to control them. When they leave here, we hope they will be well-equipped for anything that comes their way.”

Though they follow a set curriculum, Help Foundation tries to act as a career counselor for each student. They help them determine what they want to pursue and identify the steps necessary to achieve their personal goal. 

Honkala said that they want to help bolster students’ talents and build up their skillset.

“We work with individuals to determine what their dream is and the steps we can take to help them achieve that dream,” Honkala said. “We want to help people adjust to whatever life that they themselves want to build.”

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