We’re home to those with special needs and
the longest-running CSA farm in the county.
Homefields is an award-winning non-profit organization dedicated to creating new life options for people who have disabilities. A modern ranch and 1800s farmhouse are the homes, and a 23-acre farm is the stage. Hundreds of people who have a disability or other barrier to traditional employment have engaged at our Farm, growing organically-minded produce for community shareholders. Six adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities call us “Home”.
Our first residents moved here over 20 years ago, and the companies we partner with have been here since the beginning. Annual fundraisers attract loyal attendees. Homefields’ roots are wide and deep.
To create financially secure, long-term homes in safe, family-like settings where there is respect for the individual in a holistic sense, and fun and creativity are revered as basic human needs.
To provide vocational opportunities that are integrated, therapeutic, and where individuals with or without a disability grow together; to cultivate volunteerism within our community.
Homefields is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization
EIN: 23-2744180 PA BOC: 26729
What Others Think of Us
The Sierra Club of Lancaster bestowed Homefields with a $500 grant that we used to purchase native plants for a new rain garden, which diverts runoff from the driveway. Shown here are (back row) Sean, Carol, Katie, Allison, Mary, Tom, Justin and (front row) Matt and Jodi. Thank you all for your hard work, and a special shout out to Matt Dilley for making it all happen.
The National Wildlife Federation (NWF), America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization, has recognized our new rain garden as a Certified Wildlife Habitat® through its Garden for Wildlife™ program. NWF celebrates this effort to create a garden that supports birds, butterflies, bees, frogs and other local wildlife. Every Certified Wildlife Habitat garden provides natural sources of food, water, cover and places to raise young and is maintained in a sustainable way that incorporates native plants, conserves water and doesn’t rely on pesticides.
Homefields is happy to be one of five farms that presented at the Mid-Atlantic Care Farming Summit. Care farming is the therapeutic use of farming practices for vulnerable groups of people. The summit took place at Red Wiggler Community Farm in Germantown, Maryland, and the objective was to convey challenges and successes for the benefit of all.
Civic Leadership Award
Homefields received the 2013 Walker Center’s Distinguished Civic Leadership Award from Millersville University, recognizing “individuals or organizations that make noteworthy civic and community contributions of local, regional, national or international impact and who have been a catalyst for encouraging civic engagement on the part of others.”
Urban Preservation Award
Homefields received the C. Emlen Urban Preservation and Honor Award at the 41st Annual Meeting of the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County in November 2007. The award was for outstanding effort in preserving and restoring a 140-year-old outbuilding (our current office), and is especially cherished as it was accomplished by reusing all salvageable material, primarily through volunteer labor and expertise, including donations from blueprint to timber framing, masonry, electrical, roofing, and flooring.
—Our History: A Synopsis—
In 1991, a group of parents and invited professionals came together to discuss the state of affairs for their children, and the plight of Lancaster County adults with mental retardation and other disabilities. Existing programs were at capacity with long waiting lists. Our group, determined to build a step where none existed, imagined a more flexible environment where adults with mental retardation and other special needs, families, and the community, would partner together to create new opportunities.
We wrote a mission statement expressing a desire for a financially secure, long-term home in a safe, family-like setting where there is respect for the individual in a holistic sense, and where fun and creativity are revered as basic human needs. The home would be situated on land that supported a small farming operation with year-round projects. This environment, with many on-going activities, would stimulate residents and offer them new options. Then we took that dream and made it come true.
In 1994, five families who love an adult member with special needs, incorporated, pooled their finances, and purchased an eight-acre horse-boarding farm in Millersville, PA. Homefields’ philosophy is a nurturing, self-sufficient one, so the people who eventually moved to Homefields, with the help of their families, were instrumental in renovating and personalizing their own home. Everyone rolled up their sleeves to remodel a ranch house, restore a stone house, disassemble and move a fence, paint a barn, clean up the grounds, and plant even more flowers. Three years after the first meeting, three adults who require assisted living moved into the stone house. Soon after, the ranch house was completed and three other residents moved into that home.
Residents continue to live as independently as possible at Homefields, which has now expanded to 23 acres. They are supported by the professional staff of Community Services Group, are loved by their families, and are protected through the watchfulness of family members, advocates, Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (BH/DS) of Lancaster County, and Homefields' Board of Directors. New families have come our way seeking a home for their cherished son or daughter. Hundreds of people who have a disability or other barrier to traditional employment have engaged at our Farm, growing chemical-free produce for community shareholders. Six adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities call us “Home”.