GROWTH is recruiting! See links below for more information and details on how to apply.

The GROWTH Project is a training and employment program designed to introduce you to the field of landscaping through classroom and hands-on training. The GROWTH Project assists Behavioral Health Services (BHS) consumers to learn marketable skills, receive on-the-job training and mentoring, and secure competitive employment in the community. Moreover, GROWTH is a collaboration between UCSF’s Citywide Employment Services, MHSA and Behavioral Health Services (BHS).

GROWTH offers three months of classroom and hands-on training (8 hours per week) with a professional landscaper. Those who successfully complete the classroom portion of the training will have an opportunity to be hired for 6 months (8 hours per week, $16.50 per hour) to work on landscaping projects at public buildings in San Francisco. Students will learn how to choose the right plants for a landscaping project (especially drought-tolerant plants for our dry California climate!), how to plant and grow plants and keep them happy and healthy, how to design landscaped areas so they look beautiful, how to maintain landscaped areas using various tools, and how to get a job as a professional landscaper or gardener.

The ultimate goal of the program is for consumers to learn marketable skills for the workforce while being a part of the transformation of the BHS Mental Health Care System. Finally, GROWTH aims to create a more welcoming environment in the wait rooms and garden areas of BHS/DPH clinics that culturally reflect the communities they serve.

“I learned a lot, not only about horticulture but also about who I am. I’ve realized that this class made me more capable of overcoming obstacles, facing challenges, and succeeding at whatever I set my mind to.”

Quote from a Program Graduate

The 2019 Cohort at GROWTH has completed their classroom training and are actively working on a large scale Healing Garden at 1990 41st Ave for the Sunset Mental Health Clinic. Below is the plan for their Garden, designed by Anna van Kerken and the 2019 Cohort.

GROWTH Project 2019 at Sunset Mental Health

Sunset Healing Garden by the GROWTH Project (Assisted by First Impressions)

For more information please contact Christine Ericksen at (415) 314-0528 or email at [email protected]

GROWTH provides participants with:

  • 3-months of classroom and hands on training
  • The chance of selection for six-months of supervised work experience paid at $18.93/HR
  • On-going job placement support, job preparation, resume building, competitive job placement and employment retention services

GROWTH hands-on training in Permaculture, Landscaping, and Gardening may include (but is not limited to):

  • Landscape Installation Indoor/Outdoor
  • Garden Maintenance Indoor/Outdoor
  • Vegetable, Drought-Tolerant, Pollinator, and Habitat Garden Installation
  • Mulching, Soil Preparation, Watering, Weeding
  • Planting, Plant Transportation of Small, Medium, and Large Plants
  • Use of Various Garden Tools
  • Basic Irrigation Knowledge and Understanding
  • Basics of Permaculture
  • Plant Identification and Garden Design
  • Team Work and Work-place Collaboration

GROWTH services are intended to adhere to the Wellness and Recovery Model helping consumers to holistically improve their mental health and wellness. These services are intended to provide meaningful activities that foster a consumer’s independence and increase her/his ability to participate in society in a meaningful way.

Wellness Promotion

  • An increase in consumer engagement in clinic and clinical services
  • An increase in client satisfaction with services
  • An increase in consumers who have learned marketable job skills in landscaping and gardening
  • An improvement in general mental health through employment and esteem building
  • Increase in staff and provider moral