Launching GrowGood's Social Enterprise Business

submission by BradP

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):

GrowGood, Inc.

Organization(s) website(s):

Organization(s) twitter handle(s):

Organization(s) facebook handle(s):

Organization(s) instagram handle(s):

Describe Your Organization(s)

Non-profit organization

For-profit organization


Other (please specify below):

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


GrowGood leverages the power of urban farming to unite people, to create hope for underserved groups, and to lay foundations for healthy communities, beginning with the city of Bell — a “food desert” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


GrowGood, Inc., a non-profit organization, has worked since 2011 in partnership with the Salvation Army's Bell Homeless Shelter to transform the 1.5-acre parcel of fallow land adjacent to the Shelter into a small farm. With $100,000, GrowGood will launch its UCLA award-winning social enterprise business plan to build a greenhouse on-site to grow and sell produce year-round to LA’s finest restaurants. The social enterprise business will employ Shelter residents, many of whom are veterans.

Where will you be working? Please be specific (e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County).

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles (countywide)

City of Los Angeles (citywide)


Other (please specify below):

(e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County):

The Salvation Army's Bell Shelter in Bell, CA; LA County

How do you plan to use these resources to make change? (check all that apply)

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or program

Mobilize for systems change

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Implement and track policy

Other (please specify below):

How will your proposal improve the following “Live” metrics? (check all that apply)

Access to healthy food

Healthcare access

Exposure to air toxins

Number of households below the self-sufficiency index

Percent of imported water

Obesity rates

Housing affordability

Rates of homelessness

Walk/bike/transit score

Acres and miles of polluted waterways

Rates of mental illness

Prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (Dream Metric)

Percentage of LA communities that are resilient (Dream Metric)

Percentage of residents receiving coordinated healthcare services (Dream Metric)

Percentage of tree canopy cover (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the healthiest place to live.


In 2015, the Los Angeles City Council declared a state of emergency on homelessness. In addition to housing needs, persons who are homeless also often battle with mental illness, substance abuse, physical disability, and/or domestic violence. Furthermore, many homeless people have nutrition-related health problems and need improved access to food and nutrition. It is our opinion that LA can only be as healthy as those least fortunate, and to make LA healthy, we must focus first on this growing population.

GrowGood’s 1.5-acre farm adjacent to the Salvation Army’s Bell Shelter fills this critical gap. Founded in 2011, GrowGood’s mission is to provide a variety of fresh produce to the Shelter’s kitchen; to create a green space for emotional healing; and to provide meaningful job training opportunities for Shelter’s residents.

Currently, GrowGood’s farm consists of a 50 fruit tree orchard, 14 raised vegetable garden beds, a California native garden, as well as traditional in-ground row crops. GrowGood’s farm continues to provide organic produce to the Shelter’s kitchen - 2,000 lbs of produce this year alone. Moreover, GrowGood also provides garden classes for Shelter residents. In furtherance of its mission, GrowGood will use $100,000 to continue developing its farm as well as to launch its UCLA award-winning social enterprise business to employ Shelter residents and provide meaningful job training.

To launch the business, GrowGood will install on-site a commercial, climate-controlled 30 x 58 ft greenhouse. The greenhouse will require a foundation, electricity, and plumbing to increase the production scale and to enable year-round cultivation. GrowGood will also need to hire an additional full-time employee as well as lease a truck to deliver product to customers. Residents will be involved in every stage of business.

In 2014, GrowGood presented this concept to a panel of business leaders at the Social Enterprise Academy at UCLA. GrowGood was awarded 1st place and received a $12,000 prize. Since then, GrowGood has conducted further market research, gained agreement from a talented individual to run the business, and has received approval from the Army to place the greenhouse on-site. By producing a high-quality local product and providing meaningful job training opportunities to the Shelter’s residents, many of whom are veterans, GrowGood is building a replicable model that will make LA the healthiest place to live.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


GrowGood will evaluate the program through resident surveys, feedback from key stakeholders (i.e. Shelter staff, especially case managers), and documenting whether resident employees are successfully leveraging their experience with GrowGood to gain full-time employment after their time in the Shelter. Moreover, documenting volunteer hours - additional hours a resident spends at the farm beyond what is required - can also be helpful in determining “success.”

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Other (please specify below):

5 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

This sounds awesome. Great to see The Salvation Army working with the community in this very important and productive way!

by jon.henderson
5 months ago

We need more organizations like GrowGood...they can make a difference in so many ways. Good luck GrowGood!!

by debisaacman
6 months ago

Great work guys good luck!!!!

by RyanHamilton12345
6 months ago

Homeless, veterans, drug therapy, and food deserts -- this is awesome!! Go GrowGood!

by andrewGG
6 months ago

The video is truly inspiring! Creating a green space amidst the industrial backdrop is a powerful contrast. I would love to work in the garden sometime and will contact GrowGood to volunteer.

by BradP
6 months ago

Pink ribbon award box icon 45b87e779c93f5099a48378c2aadc0fcd51184974daecf76e3f5c50034ea21fb
Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Submission Ended
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 2 inactive 74a43088831beb43fdbd7591ef5d50a5a7a26ff92c9e8ed489782459fa31a8d9 Step2 title voting inactive 96be722f53c417edddb5742ba9a6dc2fd403f7e4f6c19dbe883d50d20d93689d

Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voting Ended
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
at 08:00 PM UTC

Circle 3 83da7a9432aeea960e1a9e9ee93e7ea1221af6c8f42b27964f2e9999d94b2b8d Step3 title 3d9e2a65d6ea1ad301f8fc607f5f828bd96362932c71d81c0da5b1fd964422b0

Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015