Change may not be easy, but that does not necessitate a disruption of the community; quite the contrary, in Staunton, Virginia the community sought and found an organic form of change.

"As changemakers and service providers, we come from a culture that trains us to identify problems: obesity rates, percentages of impoverishment, degrees of blight. This lens of scarcity exposes harsh and important realities, but it is also a distancing lens. When we see only problems, too often our response is to marshal non-local resources and top-down interventions. Worse, our own history and experience frames our understanding of these problems. We may assume, for example, that vacant storefronts are merely indicators of economic failing, rather than seeking the views of people who sleep in them or the members of youth bands that practice in them.

"To create systems of change that act with communities rather than to them, we must see the potential solutions that are already embedded in communities—solutions often hidden in the most obvious places, masquerading as problems."--Meghan Williamson

Photo credit: By Myrabella (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons