Chicago flower farm employs at-risk youth

Roses are red. Violets are blue. A South Side nonprofit wants to arrange flowers for you!

Southside Blooms is using flowers to empower youth. They are teaching at-risk kids all about the floral industry, and using sustainability to alleviate inner city poverty.

The organization buys vacant lots on the South and West sides of Chicago, grows flower gardens using solar power, and creates jobs for young people.

They offer flowers for sale online, as well as seed packet stationary and candles.


Southside Blooms just purchased a lot next to the Cook County Jail.

"We're looking to build group houses there so then we can extend our growing season throughout the winter, as well as having more access to young people who are caught up in the criminal justice system," said founder Quilen Blackwell.

On June 18, they are hosting a "Street Flower Fashion Show" online. Proceeds will benefit the organization.

Tickets can be purchased at