Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Self Sustaining Communities

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Public & Societal Benefit

Mission: To assist in creating a systemic change in the SF East Bay of Northern California which meets environmental, social, and sustainability needs by addressing those areas upon which survival is dependent, specifically food, energy, transportation, shelter and social inclusion. We focus on low-income, high crime areas, but are not necessarily limited thereto, most particularly Richmond, CA. We approach these areas as part of an integrated larger area where coming together to make a systemic change can effect greater well-being for all members of the community.

Results: Over 16,000 fruit, nut and olive trees distributed freely to the community; four urban farms in current production by and for the community. Street orchard planted for the homeless and addicted community nearby.

Target demographics: create local food, natural building structures, urban farmsm homeless work programs, work with formerly incarcerated

Geographic areas served: Richmond and San Pablo

Programs: materials, land and volunteer help to communities to create whole sustainable environments by and through their own sweat equity.

Community Stories

48 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love this place!! Bringing the farm life , organic garden and artistic twist to the city! It's a wonderful and peaceful place where you get to interact and care for the animals and learn how to live a health happy life! Being here helps to develop great skills of teamwork, patience, appreciation of hardwork and thinking outside the box! It has brought together many different people throughout the community in building and working together for an enviromental friendly atmosphere! I am excited to see and be part of its continues growth!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am part of a larger social group in the East Bay area. We have looked for volunteer opportunities to serve the community and have participated in the local urban farms and related activities that Self-Sustaining Communities offers. The noticeable change that takes place in a neighborhood when one of these urban farms or gardens goes in is inspiring. Neighbors rally around; passersby run home to create similar environments in their own yards; people show curiosity and care toward the farm animals. It's an important and thoughtful way to make change in these necessary times.

1 Plantgrowshare15

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Self-sustaining communities is doing great things in the community. I've had great experiences with Linda, a very giving person, willing and ready to help others. My family have benefited from her generosity, we're able to use space at one of the garden locations, whatever help/advice we need with gardening she's there. Organizations like self-sustaining communities are a must in each city.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I first learned about Self-Sustaining Communities two years ago when my husband and I had just moved to Richmond from Oakland. I was a little sad that I had lost a good-sized (rental, not ours) backyard that I had cultivated in Oakland after moving to a second floor apartment. As we were driving on San Joaquin, I noticed what looked like a community garden. We made inquiries and got to know Linda Schneider and the Self-Sustaining Communities and got a bed. I had to travel abroad a month later due to a family matter, a trip that took ten months. In the meantime, my husband tried valiantly, but little success to cultivate more beds. When I cam back in September of last year, the two of us got to work in earnest in the garden. With Linda's support and encouragement, we took over the large garden and within the course of six or seven months, we developed what we believe to be one of the most verdant and resplendent gardens in the area. Yes, we did put in hard work and gardening skills, but none of it would have been possible without the material and emotional support of Linda and the Self-Sustaining Communities.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the big motivating factors for us moving to our current apartment was the charming Self Sustaining Communities farm behind our house. We had head about Food Justice and others like it and LOVED the idea. A load of people in our neighborhood chose to live there in part to the closeness to a garden that they could affordably grow some of their own food with the help of this non profit and build a community with their neighbors.
The goals of SSC are wonderful and aim to help people grow.
Does everything go according to plan? not always, but what does? We are working with people, where they are at and sometimes they are not quite ready for the responsibility they take on, but They learn something new and hopefully be come even better people.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Linda Schneider has done a monumental job in making her vision a reality. The result is nothing short of astonishing. The seeds being planted by her community organizing have now grown into a healthy sapling. I have known Linda for many years now and with her determination to do what is right, this sapling will grow into a mighty oak tree and create incredible change for the community she serves.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love Self Sustaining Communities, and highly respect the director Linda Schneider and the work that she does. The way she involves and motivates the local community is a tremendous asset to all of the cities she works with. Her love for animals and personal food production is an inspiration to all. It is wonderful to have such an example of how we can live more naturally and in harmony with our environment. I encourage more people to become involved with this work and with community service.

Hossein K.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I got involved with Self Sustaining Communities 20 months ago, in October of 2013. Driving home one day to work, my wife and I spotted this little oasis (actually more than 7000 sq. ft. of cultivated land with a beehive and at the time many animal farms) at the intersection of San Joaquin and Colusa in Richmond. We made inquiries from a rather sophisticated and cultured beekeeper who happened to be working on her hives at that moment. She connected us with Linda Schneider, the director of self Sustaining Communities. We stated with a small bed and in a matter of months were so involved that we were asked to mange the garden. We have become so absorbed in realizing the garden full potential that many days we get up at 5 and work for hours (in our summer vacation) in mulching, weeding and creating beds. The main reason that we are so deeply involved is Linda Schneider's trust and full support of our projects. Linda is a visionary who constantly sees the full potential of our endeavor and the possibility of expanding our activities beyond this Richmond garden. She has already created a second sight ( actually a third site; the second site was developed and given to other people) with animals and future plans for agricultural development. My wife and I had plenty of gardening experience when we lived in Rochester, New York, and one thing that we love about working with and in Self Sustaining Communities is that it follows all the principles of organic and sustainable gardening/farming that we hold very dear: no chemicals, no herbicides, no pesticides, and now following the example of The Singing Frogs Farm in Sebastopol, no tilling.

I am a visual culture professor by training, but I feel like a true gardener whenever I step into the garden and I owe that liberating transformation to Self Sustaining Communities.

Donor

Rating: 5

Since I first found out about Self Sustaining Communities I have continued to be pleased and encouraged with what they are doing. Looking back at the things they have accomplished for the community before I heard of them, it's impressive.
The progress they have made since then, with their new larger plot of land has been a joy to see and to follow via social media.
I can't wait to see this and their other projects (if you'll pardon the pun) continue to flourish and bear fruit.

Scott Weston

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As an an employee at a local business in Richmond that donates plants to Self Sustaining Communities, I've had the pleasure of interacting with its founder, Linda, over the past two years during which time I have been awed to observe the growth and impact of this organization. I attended an open house event showcasing a few of the transitional housing units and urban farms, and I was highly impressed and moved by the level of initiative and efficacy of these systems. Recently, Self Sustaining Communities has acquired a 2.2 acre parcel in San Pablo with plans to develop a thriving farm there, complete with livestock; I visited the area with Linda and am already inspired by the progress taking place there. I strongly believe in the vision of this organization and am excited to see how this project will continue to evolve!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered as the "volunteer" coordinator for several years now. It has been a rewarding and sometimes challenging position in working with many community members, from all walks of life. What has been most impressive to me is that people are able to create something significant and of interest without salaries and often with just donations of materials. What else has been really unique about observing this program is that so many people are influenced by it. They are influenced in either small or larger ways. Some just want plants to take home. Others want to bring their kids to help too. Occasionally people want to know how they can start similar urban farms in their own communities. We see people come together who normally might not meet. We see people learn to work together on projects that require an increase in skills and learning. I have been fortunate that I am in a position to be able to volunteer my time. I know that other participants have basic survival needs that aren't always able to be met by them, and so providing alternative means to meet those needs through this learning and this program are satisfying and tangibly helpful

Donor

Rating: 5

As a regular small donor to Self-Sustaining Communities, I have been eager to see that they are able to do those things which, as a senior community member, I am no longer able to do. As a result, I do feel that in my small way I am able to help, and that gives me great satisfaction to know I can still make a difference too. They are always so appreciative of my gift. I enjoy the handwritten notes and I look forward to seeing the press and favorable impact they always have in their community.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have watched this charitable program in operation as a community member for nearly five years. What has been accomplished in that relatively short period of time has been astonishing. I have benefited as they spearheaded changing an animal ordinance in my town so that more people could provide for their own food when the economy tanked. After that they began to pass out free fruit trees, adding to the ability of residents to become self-reliant. Then their small farms began to spring up, and seeds and vegetable starts also were being donated from them to residents in local cities. They have been a role mode for a lot of people. I also notice that teachers from my daughter's school have gotten fertile chicken eggs for hatching projects too. After they began these efforts, the City of Richmond decided to adopt an urban agricultural program and the impacts have been sweeping. I know that the volunteers work with communities and environments that are often overlooked or considered dangerous by others. Yet, they seem to get really good results and they don't appear to treat anyone differently because of circumstances.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I came to Self-Sustaining Communities' urban farm it was because I had to work off some community service hours. What I didn't know was that I would learn a lot at the same time, and have some fun too. It is a lot of hard work though. I learned more about small farm animals than I ever have in my life, and I also learned how to plant fruit trees. My brother wanted to come with me too, and they let him come to work. He was excited to see the chickens, ducks and rabbits. I think they are nice people.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was there at the very beginning of the Richmond Annex farm. I helped build the raised beds, plant them, build the gate and fencing, and I have helped take care of the animals. I had a serious addiction and as time went along I was able to make a commitment to quit. I did. My life has been much better, although I still have more work to do.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have had a good time working with self sustaining community and trupp they both have pushed me to do thing I never thought I will do on this earth. They showed me how to be a man and what it take to be a real successful young man .I am very thankful for everything they have done for me I would work with them any time and day its real fun and help me look at the world different.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

working with self sustaining communities and t.r.u.p.p has been a great experience. I've learned a lot of new things and done things I would have thought I would be doing, things such as; building organic gardens, help taking care of the elderly and mentally challenged people around the t.r.u.p.p. transitional houses. while working with these organizations I found myself enrolling for college at contra costa county and doing positive things for the community. Honestly self sustaining communities and the remember us people project have helped me become the kind and giving person I should be.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with TRUPP has been fun learning how to plant vegetables and fruits, also with Linda Self Sustaining Community's. If it wasn't for The Remember Us People Project and Self Sustaining Community I probably wouldn't be going to school for my G.E.D and Attending Contra Costa College to play Football and Majoring In Administration Of Justice This Fall. In the meantime I also monitor tenants with mental health issues and maintain peoples yards around the neighborhood.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

One day I met this lady name Linda. She was on a piece of property that had farm animals and organic vegetable plants growing. I met her through a friend. He explained to me what she was doing and how her non-profit has up lifted the community, by growing and planting your own vegetables. At first I wasn't interested in what was going on until I actual had eaten from the garden in which she provides for. Several weeks later I made contact with her to ask if I may come out to the farm and participate. At that time I began to talk to her about what I was trying to do in the city of Richmond. I explained to her that I had done five (5) years in prison, and while I was incarcerated I wrote a program called The Remember Us People Project (trupp)


This program that I wrote consist of working with individuals that have been formally incarcerated or not, that simply have know where to go upon release from prison or county jail, or just plan homeless. This is what we call transitional living/housing. As time passed, I became more involved with what linda had going. A few of my guys that live in the transition house started getting involved with self sustaining community. By being involved with self sustaining community, we developed a business relationship. Linda and her organization became my fiscal agent.


The growth of both organizations began to get noticed more as we began doing projects around the city together. We started giving out fruit trees to low income households, we began notifying other people how important it is to be self sustainable, and the importance of health eating.


Now, at the transition homes we have organic gardens growing in two (2) of the three (3) backyards. These gardens are built, maintained, and organized by the young men at the transition homes. This also lead to more positive things, such as three (3) of the young men going to Jr. college at the present time. All the positive things that have occurred in this short period of time has spread throughout the communities, from the mayors office to the people. Community support has plumed through the roof.


I would like to thank Linda at self sustaining community for allowing us to be part of a great team. We look forward to continuing or relationship over the next several years or more. Thank you Ms Linda.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been a dream of mine, for many years, to raise my family on a farm so that they could learn through direct experience how to grow their own food, how to take care of animals and how to be a part of a conscious community. There are a handful of reasons why my husband and I are not able to purchase a farm at this time.
So, when I discovered the Self-Sustaining Community garden, right around the corner from where we live, I was really excited. My two daughters, Diana 2 3/4 years old and Athena 15 months old, and I have been volunteering there 4- 5 nights a week for the past three months. Prior to that, it was 1-2 times a week for 3 years. We help Winnie with feeding and watering the ducks, chickens and rabbits. We have also started growing our own vegetables, and so we water them as well. Diana loves to take some of the chicken feed and squat down and feed the ducks and chickens from her hands. It is also very exciting for Diana when she finds eggs that have been laid by the ducks or chickens. Athena, loves to take a small container and dip it in the water bucket and then Mommy gently guides her to water the vegetables in our garden. This is the highlight of our day!
My children are benefiting greatly from their experiences at the Self Sustaining Community garden and I am too. I feel empowered. I am deeply grateful to this not-for profit for their presence in our community!

Review from Guidestar