Curated Story
Source: Ovidiu COndurache

Diverse inputs make better solutions

This article originally appeared on Faith and Finance

“‘The seeds planted in relationships over many years are now coming into fruition in a crisis,’ [Amy] Cantrell said. Beloved Asheville is a small community of faith that lives together in intentional poverty. Cantrell, an ordained presbyterian minister doesn’t attend a local church but before Covid-19 spent most Sundays preaching in local churches or talking to Sunday schools or church coffee hours, telling the story of the people she works with, the homeless and with African Americans on policing problems.” 

“What I found that was absent in most models of change is that most models of change come in with a case management, paternalistic approach that doesn’t take into account the gifts of the people who just lack the resources to change.” 

Though she is usually responsive to the immediate situation, sometimes repeated problems give Cantrell the insight into a systemic problem that needs to be understand and changed.” 

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Ashoka insight

Around the world, displaced and homeless populations are part of street communities with unique ways of organizing and caring for one another. Amy Cantrell's work is based on relationships, both with people in power and with the homeless people around town. She supported the unhoused people in Asheville, NC in forming a “homeless medic corps” to support one another’s health through the Covid pandemic.  Her way of living her faith has enabled her to propose and collaborate in innovative ways that also ensure that everyone around her is powerful. 


What are people most impacted by the issues you care about proposing? 

How can you create new avenues for collaboration that take into account the existing power dynamics?