The programs at ETR are tailored to each Resident, however we have programs running continuously so that we can offer constant opportunity for learning, growth and change. We offer education and vocational skills training in many areas that can be expanded upon once a Resident completes their live-in experience at the Ranch.
By applying an innovative mind/body/spirit wellness program for a specific at-risk young adult population we can circumvent future need for permanent supported housing in a key (and very capable) population. To ground into a holistic routine, every human Resident interacts with the earth and “digs dirt and pets fur” daily on their path to personal sustainability with peer, plant and animal therapies.
Each incoming Resident is assessed and cocreates a Wellness Program specifically structured for them. During their time at ETR, they participate in all aspects of the Ranch and community life while receiving education paired with one-on-one support and guidance tailored to their needs and monitored by a licensed professional. Programs geared specifically for mental and emotional wellness are intrinsic to life on the Ranch where Residents are exposed to personal growth techniques from every conceivable angle.
Our Wellness Director is a qualified Herbalist and fitness instructor who offers education on plant medicine and natural, earth friendly products. Growing medicinal herbs, such as Lavender, Feverfew and Echinacea, Residents learn how to make natural, plant-based products such as healing balms, soaps, salves, toothpaste and more. They also have opportunities to participate in fitness activities taking place on the Ranch regularly such as yoga, tai chi, taekwondo, dance and movement as well as seated meditation.
Earth Tribe Media will publish a newsletter and inform local papers to let the surrounding areas know about the animals we have available for adoption as well as all other programs taking place at the Ranch. We also intend to video document our journey, the progress of our Residents and the general happenings on the Ranch for our YouTube channel. The Residents participate in and manage the newsletter and social media channels as well as help to produce special programs, workshops and events with art design and publicity. The special programs are developed to engage the community in the activities at the Ranch and include sustainability workshops, garden growing events, pet training and wellness education programs.
- Using Hero’s Journey workshops to re-script personal narratives
- Fred Hanna’s Precursor Model method to invoke desires for change
- Writing workshops, creative art projects, music and dance
- Personal growth speakers and teachers
- Daily and weekly fitness and meditation programs
- Education on nutrition, healthy eating and making positive choices
Our research has found many documented cases heralding Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) and its positive effect on rehabilitation and healing trauma, so working with animals is an important part of each Resident’s participation on the Ranch. Loyola University noted improved mood and sociability suggesting pets can decrease the need for prescription medications addressing common ails of the homeless; anxiety, stress and depression. In one study on the effect of dogs with patients, psychologists noted an 82% reduction in symptoms. One particular case noted that interacting with the dog for as little as one week, enabled a patient to decrease the amount of anxiety and sleep medications by half (Elements Behavioral Health). Each Resident will spend time with the animal residents under the guidance of a qualified animal care staff member. They will be educated on how to feed, groom, nurture and care for the animals and their living space while also preparing them for adoption. Their interactions with each other offers time for mutual healing. Our Residents are front line in the adoptions administration and marketing process.
- Hands on animal-assisted therapy
- Facilitating animal care and wellness
- Producing earth friendly pet care products
- Assisting in the adoption process
The next important aspect of the Ranch is the organic garden/greenhouse and sustainable curriculum. Residents learn about – and participate in their own – food security as well as sustainable living practices. Food grown on the Ranch is prepared by the Residents under the daily direction of a Nutrition Director who also educates on food preparation and preservation with the Sustainability Director. Excess food from the Ranch is collected by the Residents and taken to the local agencies that offer and prepare meals. A percentage is also allocated to local markets and restaurants as a tool to promote the Ranch (while creating a distribution and income stream to learn from, as well as benefit the ETR operating budget.
- Education on sustainability, growing, preparing and preserving organic foods
- Education on medicinal plants and herbs, their uses and how to grow them
- Making plant-based natural products for use on the Ranch and eventual revenue
- Participation in “sales & marketing” of our branded natural products
- Distributing produce to local restaurants providing locally sourced, organic meals
In addition to the interpersonal life skills that naturally come from living in a cooperative community, we’ve identified several areas for transferable knowledge that could provide less obvious career inspiration.
- Education in media arts through ETR’s newsletter, social media promotion and video production
- Teamwork, resilience, cooperation, service and conscious communication
- Education in organic gardening, sustainable daily living, building and renewable energy
In addition to the ongoing programs at the Ranch, the Residents participate in the creation and implementation of outreach programs that benefit the local homeless community. We work with other like minded local organizations toward mutual support and benefit (such as ALLY Youth Services, Attention Homes, Inn Between, OUR Center and Peg Rider Foundation).
- Working with like minded organizations, helping others in need through Service Advocacy
- Sharing personal stories and becoming a mentor
- Sponsored events, both on and off Ranch
All Residents have the opportunity to participate in countless experiences that will enhance their knowledge, confidence and personal well being. Every day, just talking with those who support and encourage will provide myriad opportunities for reflection, connection and change. We are continually inspired with new ideas for programs that can be implemented, and in time become part of the ETR vision. Please share yours!
We believe that we are all teachers and students alike, so it’s important to us that all Residents are given the opportunity and context to express themselves, their thoughts and ideas. As a community that works together for the benefit of all, we encourage suggestions that may bring us all closer to that goal.