Three years ago, a newly married John and Emily Clifford bought their home on 23rd Street in the heart of Chester, PA—a city in despair with staggering crime rates, drug abuse, extreme poverty and the second worst high school in Pennsylvania.
With the founding of Greenhouse Project, their goal was to transform the community, become one with the neighbors, bring faith and offer help and hope. At the time, it may have seemed like an improbable ambition. Now, the impact of Greenhouse Project is becoming more evident.
“Our annual year-end campaign, Give to Grow, has resulted in an outpouring of support,” Clifford says. “It allows us to bring life-changing hope to the most vulnerable people in Chester, people who live in poverty and cannot afford food, those struggling with addiction and children in need of a support system. We pray that our neighbors—in all the communities around Chester—will see how they can make an impact here.”
In just one year, Greenhouse Project has expanded from its original home headquarters to a second house on the west side of Chester, completely renovated with volunteer and donor support and expected to launch by the holidays. They also acquired the house next to the original headquarters, establishing a larger positive footprint in Chester. Renovations will continue as the ministry prepares for future programs.
One of Greenhouse Project’s core offerings is a biblical, holistic approach to addiction recovery and life coaching with one-on-one counseling and group meetings. Its strong ties to local recovery centers help position individuals and their loved ones for healing and lasting sobriety.
“We are definitely making headway,” says Clifford. “With God’s help and direction, we have already come such a long way. It’s up to the surrounding communities to help keep this momentum going.”
“You can see the difference John Clifford has made in just the couple years he’s lived here,” says donor John Gizzio. “In a town where no one seemed to care, people are picking up trash and their lawns are cut! There’s a new sense of optimism. There are a lot of organizations who ask for help, but what about the people right around the corner who need your help? Maybe you don’t know how to help. Well, you can do it through a guy like John Clifford.”
“I was dealing with addiction to drugs and alcohol. I didn’t have any hopes and dreams,” says Dee, who has benefited from Greenhouse Project. “I was alone and basically killing myself with how I was living. I was in a very dark place. Donny, a Greenhouse Project minister, got me out of a drug house and into a women’s recovery center. They helped me get my life back. I met people there, and I now have friends I can call and talk to. I can depend on Greenhouse Project, and I am so grateful to the donors who make it possible. You helped me get back to a life of my own, being sober.”
What’s Next for Chester and Greenhouse Project
- Serving in two new communities
- New addiction recovery programs
- Youth mentorship initiatives
- Community cleanup projects
- Discipleship/mentorship internship program
- Faith-based recovery services for local churches and businesses
Now Is the Time for You to Help
“We live and serve in a community among drug dealers, addicts who are high and people in recovery,” says Clifford. “However, every time we go outside or talk with neighbors, we model a new standard. I pray that our neighbors in the towns all around us will see the reality that they can help us change Chester.”
No one battling addiction can do it alone. You have the power to bring free addiction recovery services to the most vulnerable in Chester by helping us reach our year-end Give to Grow goal of $125,000 by December 31. With your support, we will provide personalized counseling, recovery meetings, life coaching and long-term resources to 101 at-risk women and men in our surrounding community during 2023.
By donating, you are coming alongside our neighbors like Dee in their most vulnerable time. The time is now, and the goal is big, as Give to Grow sustains the momentum for our programs in Chester. Thank you for your generosity!
Greenhouse Project, 44 E 23rd St, Chester, (610) 874-2753