Providing opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities has been the mission of Macon Citizens Habilities, Inc. (MCH) for more than three decades and now with support from the Evergreen Foundation, a new venture is planned. No later than early spring, MCH will begin a greenhouse business at its campus on Lake Emory Road in Franklin.
Several months ago Jeannie Garrett, executive director, and Robert Edwards, assistant director, of MCH and staff began exploring ideas that could potentially provide additional meaningful work for individuals in the program. Once they had decided on a greenhouse they discovered that a local business with greenhouses was going out of business.
“We were able to obtain a 28x96 foot greenhouse with potting shelves at a very reasonable cost.” stated Garrett. “Then with the funding from the Evergreen Foundation we will be able to prepare the site and move the greenhouse. It must be disassembled and reassembled on our property.”
The site selected for the greenhouse already has electricity, water and restrooms which will enable MCH to operate the greenhouse year-round.
This project will allow MCH to meet two needs: One is to provide meaningful work for the individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities that they serve and the second is to provide revenue for the agency. Once the program is up and running they will be able to sell their bedding plants and herbs. Eventually if the greenhouse is able to generate significant revenue, MCH plans to expand services and support additional individuals in their program. Currently MCH serves approximately 50 individuals in a licensed day program. The facility is known as Macon Citizens Enterprises and is licensed as an Adult Developmental Vocational Program (ADVP).
This will be the second business venture for MCH. The individuals served by MCH also make greeting cards out of recycled paper which can be ordered from their website.
To learn more about MCH, Inc. programs and services visit the web site at maconcitizens.org. The mission of the Evergreen Foundation is to improve access to and public awareness of quality prevention, treatment, and support services by the provider community to individuals and families with intellectual/developmental disabilities, behavioral health, and/or substance abuse needs in WNC. To learn more, visit evergreenfoundationnc.org.