My solution is simple: All nonprofits would have the money and space that they need to do their work. Too often employees at nonprofits do not have the resources to do their jobs. This has often been the case but since the economy tanked in 2008 the situation for organizations has worsened. Staffing cuts have caused workers to try to do the work of three people. This adds tremendous pressure to their effectiveness; it’s tough to finish, do well or even start a big project when there are six other projects of equal urgency. There’s less time to be a visionary when there’s so much to do.
With clear vision and the resources for nonprofits to succeed where would Ithaca be then? Every child would be tutored, have places to feel safe, courage to express themselves and create. Every former prisoner would re-enter society with a welcome, a warm place to live and a job. Older folks would have a place to share a meal and a laugh. People would have the information they need to pursue their projects as non-native speakers. Houses would be repaired and if not, they would live on through their salvaged cabinets and rescued wood flooring. Families would have homes—especially important in winter.
People who are sick or displaced will build side by side with us and rebuild themselves. This world doesn’t just have to be a dream. We could start by working on it.
It doesn’t just have to be Ithaca either. In my brilliant solution all communities have people talking to each other, writing grants, receiving the funds because there is enough money for what we truly need—food, housing and job security. And we would be consumers of culture, writing songs, singing them, listening to others and they would listen to us.
The arts would flourish over time and people would drink to savor, eat to nourish, share their extra, see what someone else needed and help or find a neighbor who could make the repair, weed the yard, paint the sill, replace the step.