[Audio] Horizons Launches in Pine City
Fourteen-percent of people living in Pine City are doing so in poverty. If the new Horizons program that kicked off, Thursday night, at Wings North in Pine City has anything to say about it, in 18 months that number will drastically improve. Area residents came to an open house to learn about the program that aims at fighting poverty in rural communities. Lisa Hinz is an extension Educator with the University of Minnesota, who handled the application process for Horizons in Pine City. She says by the end of the 18-month program, Pine City can expect noticeable changes.
The program requires small groups to participate in study circles to discuss how to improve the poverty level and life in Pine City. The program has four goals.
1. Knowledge and Awareness of Poverty
2. Identifying and Mobilizing Leaders
3. Create Strategies to Reduce Poverty
4. Take Action
Horizons tries to achieve the goals through four steps.
1. Study Circles, 70 people break up into small study groups to discuss what needs to be done to fight area poverty
2. Leadership Plenty, training for 20+ people who will serve as leaders
3. Community Visioning
4. Community Action to Reduce Poverty
Thirty local citizens signed a petition to start a “Horizons” program for Pine City. Pine City was identified as a qualifying community by having a population under 5,000 and a poverty rate of at least 10-percent. Once complete, Horizons rewards the community with $10,000 in grant funds to use as a “seed” for further community development programs and projects.
Sue Rydberg is one of the facilitators of the program. She says Horizons serves each persons individual needs.
Hear Rydberg’s Comments:
Pine City is one of 15 Minnesota communities, including Braham and Moose Lake, taking place in the 18 month session.
Cyndy Cohen is the Community Coordinator for Horizons . She says only once has a community that started Horizons, not successfully completed the program
Hear Cohen’s Comments:
Over 140 communities throughout the country have participated in the program. To track the work being done in Pine City, check out the Horizons blog at communityblogs.us.