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Our C-U at Work program began in August 2018 with a simple idea: give those in need the opportunity to earn an income by serving their community. A partnership between C-U at Home and the City of Champaign Township, the program began as a trash abatement and neighborhood beautification project. It has provided the opportunity for work and a ray of hope to over 100 men and women since its inception. Participants are generally already involved with our Phoenix Center or Men’s Shelter. They must apply for the program and show progress toward gaining housing and full-time work while participating.

Since Spring 2020, C-U at Work has also blossomed into a kind of “farm to table” blessing in our community. Work crews plant, cultivate, and harvest vegetables at nearby Prosperity Gardens on First Street. More than a dozen individuals have been employed in the C-U at Work partnership with Prosperity Gardens during the 2022 growing season. They distribute fresh, organic produce at Mobile Market days around the community and at weekly Farmers Markets. Production has expanded to a second location on North Street, and plans are underway to create an urban agriculture coop that will allow people to receive a weekly produce selection through the purchase of shares in the project.