About Us

Sanctuary Farms uses horticulture to combat homelessness and fill vacancies with vibrance!

Sanctuary Farm was envisioned in early 2016 by founder, Andrea Vettori. As the clinical director for Mary Howard Health Center for the Homeless, Andrea has had extensive experience with people facing homelessness and housing insecurity. As an avid gardener and beekeeper, Andrea has also experienced the healing potential of working directly with the earth through plants. With the help of neighbors, volunteers, and other non profit partnerships, Sanctuary Farm "broke ground" began in an empty lot in North Philadelphia in May, 2017.

Since it opened it 2017, Sanctuary Farm has planted, grown, and harvested over 12,800 pounds of fresh produce. The produce was distributed to over 700 families in the community, free of charge. Sanctuary Farm believes strongly in the healing and transformative power of nature to provide opportunities for neighbors to work together to create a space of beauty, safety, and healing for those in need.


Andrea Vettori, MSN, CRNP, Executive Director

As a nurse practitioner with over 25 years of nursing experience, Andrea Vettori has extensive experience working with vulnerable populations, in particular those struggling with homelessness.


Lester Cohen, MSN, CRNP, Volunteer Staff

Lester Cohen is a retired Family Nurse Practitioner with 40 years’ experience specializing in Geriatric and Internal Medicine.  


Jan Erikson, PhD, Volunteer Staff

Jan Erikson received a BS in environmental science and a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Pennsylvania.  She completed her postdoctoral studies in immunology at Stanford University.


Marie Kelly, Board Secretary, Volunteer Staff

Marie Kelly came to Sanctuary farm with a love and knowledge of growing plants and a passion for healthy locally grown food and is excited to share both of those interests with the people that Sanctuary Farm serves.


Porter Bush, Volunteer Staff

Porter has worked for four decades in food service, managing restaurants and overseeing dining operations in schools and other culinary operations.