2020 Project: Hope Cafe & Market
There have been many recent studies on placemaking in communities, and the importance of spaces where people can come together to gain a sense of connectedness and belonging. The Project for Public Placemaking indicates that small towns and rural places face unique and urgent issues, like managing limited resources and retaining businesses and people. Placemaking provides a means for smaller communities to reinvent themselves and face these challenges on their own terms. Great progress has been made over the past few years to reinvigorate Mount Vernon, but there is still much opportunity to bring the broader community together in creative ways.
Social enterprise is also a growing trend in Central Ohio, but is a new concept in many rural communities. Yet, it is a great way to gain revenue to fuel positive social change and to provide living wage jobs.
The Knox County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) identified barriers that have kept the community from doing what needs to be done to improve health and quality of life, including:
• Lack of community engagement
• Lack of awareness of local resources
• Lack of funding
• Lack of economic development