If you residents want to start a low-intensity gardening project, one that can be kept inside, introduce them to starting a herb garden! Help find a location that gets about 4 hours of sunlight a day in your resident's room. Next, get some small plants with loosely set planting soil. Looser soil promotes drainage and the health of the plants. Buy some herb seeds at a local gardening supply store, plant them, and water when the soil seems dry...that's it! Examples of herbs that do great in indoor gardens are Basil, Mint, Chives and Parsley.
Check out the original idea here.