COMMUNITY

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WHAT HORIZONS OFFERS TO COMMUNITIES

HORIZONS provides supports for communities to build a community vision based on common interest and commitment and supported by the skills and wisdom already present in the community. Community members, representing a broad range of perspectives and interests are brought together in a large group context. We use various approaches, some highly structured and some predominantly unstructured and self-organizing. Our process supports an exploration of the community's history and current situation and allows community members to discover where their hopes and dreams for their community come together. A common vision for the future is created and participants have an opportunity to decide where and how they want to work together to create their future vision. Traditional conflicts are identified and understood and common interests are discovered as a basis for moving forward together.

By including a broad range of stakeholders -- community members, elected officials, business people, churches, police and fire departments and others -- hear each others stories, develop lasting relationships and make commitments to work together on things they discover they hold in common.

NON-PROFITS

Whole System approaches provide non-profits with the capacity to involve clients, staff, funders, regulators and other important voices in program development and strategic planning. It is a great way to build a relationships, common understanding and a common commitment between all of these voices whose commitments and skills are critical to the success of community based organizations.

OUR TIMES

We live in a time when community is in great need of nurture and support and when resources for finding that are scarce. It is also a time when it is critical that we as community members find ways to empower ourselves to work together to create the kinds of communities we want for ourselves and our children.

COMMUNITY

Community is a key part of the human experience. Yet, our attempts to find or create community often leave us feeling frustrated or even cynical. Our changing society can make it difficult to identify with place or to feel a part of a functioning neighborhood, town or city. Our life experience has not given us great models for how to build community or how to participate in community effectively. And yet we all live some place and are affected by our neighbors and by the governments, agencies and businesses that operate in those places.

THE PLACE OF COMMUNITY

Community is critical to our personal and social well-being. Today, in the United States, community gets less attention and less commitment of resources than many other social institutions. Our neighborhood schools are under-funded and even under attack in some quarters. Parks and social centers are lying fallow and underutilized. After school activities, YMCA's, youth and family centers, clubs and other youth activities, which in earlier decades were a part of life for the average American, are largely unavailable or available only to those who can afford to pay for them. Business reigns supreme and attracts the greatest attention and the greatest piece of the public pie. In other countries, community is impacted by changing social and cultural conditions, international development pressures, economic demands and challenges to traditional values

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