OCPO “GROWING A PROGRAM” by “PLANTING THE SEEDS OF RECOVERY” – THERAPEUTIC GARDEN AT VETWORK
A therapeutic garden at Vetwork has been spearheaded by a Participant in the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Veterans Diversion Program. The Veterans Diversion Program encourages volunteer efforts for participants as part of the recovery process from post-traumatic stress connected to their service. Anthony Crincoli, a veteran who has been in the program for over a year, has worked with Vetwork, Ocean Mental Health Services, Lacey Township and members of the community to make the garden a reality.
The garden will be a place where fresh produce is grown and where veterans and community volunteers can work together on a project that will yield fresh food to vulnerable veterans in Ocean County. The therapeutic garden sits behind the “Warden House” historic building where Vetwork is located, nestled between the bocce courts and the parking lot. Donations were solicited by Mr. Crincoli via a Facebook page with several members of the community providing donations. Vetwork has always had a food pantry with packaged and canned goods, but now will have the addition of fresh produce, like tomatoes, peppers and squash to offer its clients.
Vetwork was started in the 1980s to offer services to area veterans including, but not limited to, benefits assistance, substance abuse referrals, housing opportunities and legal aid. Pictured below several veterans, including representatives from Vetwork, Mr. Crincoli (Far Left), and Megan Magahan (Red Dress) of Ocean Mental Health Services were recognized Thursday, September 8th at the Lacey Township Committee meeting for their contributions to the community.