Horizons focuses on building leadership to reduce poverty in small communities with poverty rates greater than 10%. Alta is one of 20 Horizons communities in Iowa. Horizons is funded by the Northwest Area Foundation, and led in Iowa by Iowa State University Extension. Over 75 Alta residents have already participated in Horizons activities which include a Spotlight meeting, a Steering Committee, Study Circles, Leadership Plenty® and Visioning sessions.
Discussion at several study circles raised the need to welcome newcomers to town and help them find what they need and are interested in. Alta Builds Connections (ABC) has been formed, and will soon be making visits to new residents. If you are interested in volunteering in various capacities for this program, please contact Alta City Hall at 200-2105.
Participants in the activities listed above have gained a broader and deeper understanding of poverty, built leadership skills, and developed strong working relationships. They have begun to envision an Alta committed to the well-being of all its residents.
At an August 28 Visioning session, participants identified possible strategies for reducing poverty and its impact in Alta. At the next Visioning meeting, priorities will be set and action begins! Be There!
The Alta Community Action Planning meeting is set for Monday, Oct. 8. A free supper will be provided for participants at 6 p.m. with visioning and action planning taking part from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Alta Community Center (child care stipends available). RSVP to B.V. County Extension, 732-5056.
By involving the community in setting goals to create a thriving community, the community will be more invested in the outcomes. Possible goals include; a system is in place in Alta to help residents meet basic transportation needs, a community resource center is in place, serving as a first stop to help people find programs, services and other resources they need, Alta has developed a way to help residents maintain their homes and yards, new businesses have opened in Alta and existing businesses have remained as a result of community efforts, a Health Clinic is present in Alta to offer access to basic health care needs, Alta's stock of affordable, quality housing has increased, and recreation opportunities for youth and adults in our community have been expanded.
"Because of the strengths Alta has," said Kris Shannon, "which include a strong school system with caring staff, a strong faith community, a foundation of volunteerism, access to recreational opportunities and visionary people, Alta can make a difference in the lives of those affected by poverty, whether directly or indirectly." She urges everyone to take the time to become involved.