“Joel Furrow is the director of the Root Cellar, a Christian ministry that serves the Tree Streets. They teach English as a second language to parents. They teach the kids in the Tree Streets things like basic sewing or carpentry skills. They provide Thanksgiving baskets to the poor, provide mentoring to teens who might have few good influences in their lives. During the summer, they provide soccer clinics and game nights. The Root Cellar also serves as a food pantry for those in need.
Joel’s vision for the Tree Streets is to give dignity to the people of the Tree Streets. For example, he regularly has volunteers walking the streets to pick up trash because he believes that people who live in a clean neighborhood will experience a greater level of dignity and will want to keep their own neighborhood in nicer shape. Over the years that Joel has been leading the Root Cellar, I have personally seen the Tree Streets become measurably nicer. People are treated like people (imagine that!) and in response they choose to improve their neighborhood.
Joel’s vision and kindness are transforming the Tree Streets and doing much to bridge the gap that has long existed between the immigrant population and native Mainers. How much healing has come to our community through the Root Cellar?” – S. Thompson, Auburn, Maine