State of GELT

Moving into the third installment of the program, GELT aims to transition from a fun experience, into a legitimate destination for those seeking a deeper landscape of how to translate personal passions into financially-solvent livelihoods.

Over the last two years, the program as experienced significant growth. Although, growth comes with challenges, and GELT is no different. Accurately providing the experience necessary for not only critical personal growth, but preparation for conditions advantageous for financial success, is where the program strives to improve. In an ever-changing economy, one based on immediate, centralized global productions and responses, equipping participants with the mind-set that challenges this current condition is difficult, but nonetheless, the goal of GELT.

Ingenuity, derived from personal authority and joy, applied at the local level, can produce the beauty that is the marriage of personal success and community wealth. Local, decentralized production and distribution integrated with an educated populus ready for resource ownership, will ignite generational ambition that can, and will, sustain and evolve economic and social frameworks.

It starts with an individual, willing to identify an opportunity that emits risk, but can overcome fear to establish themselves as an owner of their life’s quest for that which they seek.
Since 2010 when GELT first was administered, the program has seen healthy evolution to every facet of the experience. Externally for participants, in two years, the program has successfully employed 2 individuals in “green” economy industries, certified 30 individuals in permaculture design, 7 in solar photovoltaic design(recognized by NABCEP) and trained over 40 in residential energy efficiency, social justice, project development and business generation.

Additionally, the community impact of GELT in two years has been tremendous, as nearly 3,000 residents have been effected by GELT projects. 125 homes have received free, energy efficiency upgrades, saving residents $200 annual on their utility bill as well as critical information regarding energy consumption.

A vacant lot was transformed into a full-scale community playground, using resources recovered from nearby neighborhoods, demonstrating creative, practical options to blight. A year-round greenhouse, complete with solar-powered fans, was built to educate, employ and feed residents, as access to healthy food and nutritional literacy has been community-identified, as a need,while establishing the foundation for a revenue-driving, local food system.

Additionally, a residential home was ecologically deconstructed, paving the way to rehabilitation, but also to provide examples of the abundant amount of usable resources available in vacant homes, challenging the option of environmentally-damaging demolition.

GELT continues to collaborate with residents and the city, to construct an economic framework rooted in local ownership and resilient resource production and accessibility.