Saturday, March 2, 2019
Sam Gil - Camillus House
MIAMI | Space for poetry, meditation, gardening, strolling under shade trees: All of it sprang to life March 1 at Camillus House, a ministry to the poor and homeless, thanks to a joint project of volunteers and the private sector.
The 9,500-square-foot park has murals, planters, several large trees, a walking trail and sitting areas. Camillus House, run by the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God, will use it for therapeutic benefits to its clients.
Damaged in 2017 by Hurricane Irma, the area drew interest from HandsOn Miami, part of the national Points of Light Network. With a redevelopment plan drawn up by the Cadence landscape design company, 15 HandsOn Miami volunteers joined more than 200 employees from the Dow Chemical Company, which sponsored completion of the project.
A finishing touch was a 100-foot mural designed by The Unconventional Group and artist Andrew Reid. It depicts the journey from helplessness and homelessness to self-sufficiency, a goal of Camillus House for its clients.
“The therapeutic impact of this initiative on those we serve is immeasurable,” said Camillus CEO Hilda M. Fernandez. She said her clients range from the chronically homeless to survivors of human trafficking to those struggling with mental health issues.
“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,” Fernandez said.
Justin Land, program officer of global citizenship at Dow, said the company adopted the Camillus project as part of its goal of aiding social progress.
“We not only believe that we can contribute to building stronger, more resilient communities, but also a stronger company,” Land said.