The Horizons Community Leadership Program to Reduce Poverty helps communities build stronger leaders to address economic issues and find ways to implement change. Horizons is funded by the Northwest Area Foundation and implemented by Iowa State University Extension in partnership with Iowa citizens.
A video describing the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and how ISU Extension and Outreach VITA volunteers help Iowans.
From two Iowa communities in a 2003 pilot to 36 communities completing the program by 2011, Iowa State University Extension carried out the Horizons Community Leadership Program to Reduce Poverty with funding from the Northwest Area Foundation (NWAF). View the 2011 Horizons Report.
Horizons provided 36 communities with an opportunity to realize their vision! Several communities spotlight their success in the videos below.
View other Horizons videos:
Bus Trip - inside the bus
Representatives from 16 Horizons communities shared Horizons successes from around the state. Some communities reported in person while others shared by DVD. The 40 Road Trip participants visited Chariton, Corydon, Leon and Humeston.
Bus Trip - Chariton
Linda Baynes reported on Chariton's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site. In 2011 the program served 96 people with incomes below $49,000 and helped return $167,852 back to the community. She also talked about the Family Fun Fest where 400 people learned about community services. Participants also heard about the success of Carpenter's Hall in Chariton from owner Thelma Saxton. Russell Harris shared the value of volunteers in the Russell community.
Bus Trip - Corydon
Pat Swartzlander shared information on the creation of the Housing Trust Fund. Earlier Belinda Willhite described the history and activities of Welcome We Help, Inc. Kristie Judkins, Iowa Workforce Development, explained partnerships communities could develop to create local access to Iowa Workforce Development's employment system.
Bus Trip - Leon Clothing
John Dunsdon talked about how they turned a Horizons goal of a used clothing store into reality. Clothing is donated and sold for a few dollars. Inventory is kept fresh by donating unsold items to others in need. Participants dined for lunch at the new From The Ground cafe owned by Heidi Bell.
Bus Trip - Humeston grocery
Before visiting main street Humeston where all but two store fronts are now occupied - several with new businesses, Paul Gunzenhouser described how the community raised funds to build a community-owned grocery store. Jackie Gunzenhouser shared how people wrote grants to build a new library with a community room. Participants enjoyed dessert at Grassroots Gallery, Gift and Cafe under the ownership of Sara and Stan Lovett.
The seven Horizons states offered monthly webinars on topics of interest to Horizons communities. To view the archived presentations visit http://www.horizonsmt.org/webinars/index.htm.
More than 60 people representing 23 Iowa Horizons communities traveled to Ames on November 11, 2010 to exchange learning with their peers, learn about Asset Building – Earn, Save & Invest (ppt) and the Household Framework (pdf) from Nancy Stark, Director of Enterprise and Economic Development at CFED in Washington, DC who delivered the keynote. The capstone titled "The value of Rural Philanthropy to your community" (ppt) was presented by Carol Gilbert, Chairperson of the Hardin County Community Foundation.
Participants selected from nine workshops:
Asset & Wealth Creation
Seeking Funds Track
A spring Expanding Horizons Workshop will be announced early in 2011. Watch for details.