Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation funds Ypsilanti farm employing citizens returning from incarceration

The Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation‘s monthly $1,000 mini-grant was awarded to We the People Growers Association (WTPGA) on July 9, 2017 to create a tool shed and employee rest and rehydration station.

We The People Growers Association (WTPGA) recently signed a land lease agreement to create a 1.5-acre community-based farm in Ypsilanti with the goal of employing men and women returning home from incarceration. Currently, WTPGA has tilled 8,000 square feet and created 12 vegetable beds. As WTPGA develops, one of its immediate needs is infrastructure development. WTPGA will partner with Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley (HHHV) to meet the critical infrastructural need of constructing a tool shed for secure on-site storage, as well as a place for employees and volunteers to rest and rehydrate.

Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation trustees present We the People Growers Association founder Melvin Parson with his grant money.

Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation trustees present We the People Growers Association founder Melvin Parson with his grant money.

Awesome Foundation grant funds will be used to buy construction supplies for the tool shed and rest and rehydration station. In partnership with HHHV, volunteers will work together to construct both projects over the course of a day-long community event this summer.

WTPGA was founded in 2015 by Melvin Parson. Parson has developed a passion for building community since returning home from 13 years of incarceration. He is a recent graduate of Eastern Michigan University’s School of Social Work and is currently a student at Michigan State University’s Student Organic Farm training program.

The Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation is the Ann Arbor chapter of the Boston-based micro-philanthropic organization known as the Awesome Foundation. Each fully autonomous chapter supports awesome projects through micro-grants, usually given out monthly. These micro-grants, $1000 or the local equivalent, come out of pockets of the chapter’s “trustees” and are given on a no-strings-attached basis to people and groups working on awesome projects.