What is Vision Possible?
Vision Possible is one of seven non-profit organizations that operate out of Area 15. The most visible expression of what we do is the operation of The Free Store. Vision Possible is a ministry in the broadest, most ecumenical sense of that word. The original Greek word for ministry is diakonia which encompasses a call to serve among the poor and oppressed with a focus on education and empowerment.
We attempt to live out of the following core convictions while serving with and among our friends at Area 15.
1. Human self-worth is not determined by net worth. As one of history's great radicals said, "What does it profit one to gain the whole world and lose your own soul?" It is not what we have but who we are that constitutes our true value. We see this as a fundamental corrective in a culture that places a premium on external symbols of status and success. One of our friends living in the woods in the shadow of Bank of America told us recently, "I sit out here and feel worthless, like a disease." We don't think anyone should feel that way and we want to let our struggling friends know that their lives have significance and that they matter.
2. Class cultural community is better than segregated social enclaves. By class cultural community we mean a diverse group of people from all segments of society. We think that our society is much too segregated along economic as well as racial lines. It is our intent to transgress these boundaries and bring people of all social and economic classes together forming a diverse and supportive community of friends.
3. Friendship is sacred. There is nothing more important in life than the relationships that we create and sustain. This is especially true of friendship between diverse cultures and classes of people. We think that supportive and spiritual friendship is the key to solving some of the most pressing social problems facing our society. As a special focus we promote relationships of mutual support between our friends on the streets and in the homeless shelters and our friends that have a place of their own.
4. The resources needed for life are available for every person. Since money does not ultimately make a life neither should the lack of money break a life. We think that the basic necessities of life are produced in sufficient quantity in our world that every person could have all that they need to live. But as Peter Coyote says, "It is money that creates scarcity." Although many of our friends do not make a "living wage" we think they deserve and can have a full life. It is our intent to help them discover and tap into the resources available.
We have discovered that although service among the struggling class is not always sexy, it satisfies the soul in a deep way!