A Charlotte nonprofit program, The Males Place, is one of 200 organizations in the country selected as a finalist for the State Farm Neighborhood Assist program.
The Males Place has evolved over the last several years to become a vibrant multicultural community that has mentored more than 3,000 youth, making their program one of the largest mentoring organizations in North Carolina.
The Males Place also sponsors farmers markets and other food system initiatives to address food insecurity and chronic diseases in many long-suffering communities.
The mentees devote significant time, energy and resources to the planning, design, planting and launching of a community garden on Charlotte’s West Side, providing free fresh vegetables to impoverished local neighborhoods that lack ready access to fresh produce.
“We are a hands-on, front-line organization that provides prescriptive solutions to the needs and interests of our youth, community and people,” Singleton said. “They learn and grow in a positive culture and environment where they are nurtured.”
The $25,000 will allow the group to purchase and construct the Ujima Sustainable Greenhouse, which will allow The Males Place to triple its produce output.
“The new Ujima Greenhouse will also allow us to extend the growing season considerably indoors, thereby growing through the winter months as well,” Singleton said. “We will be much better equipped to address the growing crisis of unmet needs for healthy local produce.”
The overall mission is to provide comprehensive and prevention-based behavior health educational programming, mentoring and life skills training necessary for manhood development for African American boys ages 12-18, and to create a safe environment for young men to grow in community settings in the United States and abroad.
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