Michael was raised to have service at the core of his morals, so when figuring out a career path, service and helping others was a primary factor. On a personal level, Michael has a passion for sustainability, especially when it comes to food, design, and the environment. As a society and species, we are always encountering challenges like climate change, health crisis, and food insecurity. In an effort to make an impact on people in need as well as to promote and showcase sustainability, Michael decided to start Growing Us Home. Michael envisions Growing Us Home as something that can provide homeless individuals with food and a home while also using sustainable practices that can benefit the environment.
Initially, Michael planned to become an engineer and try to tackle some sustainability issues from a technological standpoint, however that career path didn’t seem like it would offer the gratification and likely wouldn’t have enough focus on direct service to those in need. Michael switched from engineering to find a career that could sustainably help people, the environment, and lead to a life that was personally fulfilling too. On a personal level, Michael loves nature and wants to work in a career that focuses on nature. Agriculture, and specifically regenerative agriculture, inspired Michael, but there had to be a component that directly helped people. Since Michael has had experience with serving the homeless community, so that was a group that he wanted to continue to impact.
While the main goal of Growing Us Home is to provide a home and food for homeless people, it will also serve as a design or a blueprint for what sustainable communities can look like. Michael Belko aims to mold Growing Us Home communities into something that can offer fresh food, healthy living, and comfort, while also employing practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and actually sequester carbon. All of this can be done through regenerative agriculture and the use of renewable energy sources. Issues like homelessness and food insecurities can be temporarily helped in a lot of ways by just building shelters and simply giving out food. While that is great and absolutely helps, long term solutions for any problem need to be accomplished sustainably.
Michael Belko and his journey
As the homeless epidemic continues to grow in the United States and around the world, more organizations need to come together and fight this problem. There are a lot of homeless shelters, feeding groups, and charities that donate items like clothing and toiletries, but there is a lack of organizations that really take people in and renew their sense of purpose. Growing Us Home acts as an organization that will not only provide food, shelter, and clothing, but also purpose. Michael aims to form Growing Us Home communities to be sustainable, comfortable, and provide a healthy lifestyle for community members.