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Horizons engaged 34 communities in a vision for their future (2003–2011)

dick seneseIntroduction to Horizons Dr. Dick Senese.

A community garden, a bus shelter, a small business incubator, a plan for local homelessness. What do these things have to do with ending poverty? They are steps along the way — opportunities for communities to build trust, to experience successful partnerships, to more deeply understand local issues and talk openly about difficult community problems.

The Horizons program helped communities move in a positive direction. It engaged Minnesotans in developing a vision for the future of their communities. The program offered training, support, and resources that strengthened local leadership and began a conversation about how poverty can be addressed.

The four communities profiled in the videos below are representative of the 34 Minnesota communities that completed the Horizons program — just a snapshot of the work that was done throughout the state. Each community has a unique story to tell, but each engaged their entire community and welcomed leadership from unexpected sources. With this spirit, communities can make progress in addressing a host of difficult issues, including rural poverty.

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Starbuck — population 1,314

View Starbuck Video

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Hoffman — population 672

View Hoffman Video

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Saint James — population 4,695

View Saint James Video

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Pine City — population 3,296

View Pine City Video



Thank you to the courageous leaders in all of the Horizons communities who work to make their hometown a more vibrant place to live, work, and play. Your stories deserve to be heard!

Thank you to the Northwest Area Foundation for funding this project and many others that bring attention to rural communities and their essential role in the fabric of our society.

Thank you to Chris Gegax and Michael Sutz of Vox Pop Video, the creators of these videos. Vox Pop is a Minnesota company focused on producing films that positively impact communities.

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