Project Horseshoe Farm in Greensboro offers something for all ages.
The nonprofit, founded in 2007, provides housing, meals, transportation, community center programs and other services to seniors, but also works with young people through after-school and summer programs.
John Dorsey is the director, and while he works with a small staff and a board of directors, college students from around the U.S. come to Greensboro every year to work as paid fellows and interns for one year.
“Recent college graduates from across the country come here,” Dorsey said. “Students come here to us to learn about engaging in the community and learn about service and the relationship between those two.”
The nonprofit’s mission is to strengthen the community, improve quality of life of vulnerable neighbors and prepare young leaders for tomorrow.
During their time in Greensboro, fellows learn to support local health systems, schools, community organizations and people.
“I think Horseshow Farm drew me to Alabama because it was such a unique organization,” said Amy Xu, from Riverside, California and a Stanford University graduate. “For one, it really gives a lot of opportunity to recent grads. We do so many wonderful programs here in Greensboro that help so many different populations.”
This past year’s fellows hail from as close as Mobile to as far away as New York City, California, Michigan and even Jamaica. Some have enjoyed their time in Greensboro so much, they decided to stay a second year.
“When I was a junior in college, I decided that I did not want to go straight into graduate school. I wanted to take some time off and get some real-world experience. I went to my adviser and just happened to stumble across a flyer for Project Horseshoe Farm, and it has so many of the things I wanted in a program,” said Morgan Zabow, a University of Georgia graduate. “That was community health care, working with children, working with people with mental illness. I decided to take a leap of faith and apply. And lo and behold, I decided to stay for two years because I loved the experience I got here.”
The center’s programs for senior focus on health, wellness, nutrition, social, volunteer and recreational activities, with primary care, mental health and other services also available. Horseshoe Farm also supports three housing programs for women.
The center’s after-school and summer programs work with local schools and universities to teach children academic and life skills as well as character traits vital to employment, higher education and civic involvement.
“This is an organization whose mission is to strengthen communities and improve the quality of life of all our vulnerable neighbors while teaching young people how to be leaders within the communities which they will go back to and live and work,” said Sarah Hallmark, assistant director. “We are here in the Black Belt of Alabama, the highest poverty level in the state of Alabama, and we don’t have resources that other larger communities have and I think the challenges are great.”
“The ABC Trust Fund has been instrumental in developing our community center in downtown. We are very lucky and ever so grateful to the trust and Alabama Power, who have supported Horseshoe Farms from the very beginning,” Hallmark said.