Stories of Despair, Survival, Hope
The new Dispatches series will help chronicle how people in Canton-Sixes respond to change.
Today Patch is giving a name to something that has always been at the core of our mission with the launch of “Dispatches: The Changing American Dream.”
Canton-Sixes Patch and nearly 900 other Patches in 22 states and the District of Columbia are embarking not on a short-term series, but on an enduring mission. That mission, Dispatches, is to bring you the stories that reveal how all of us are dealing with the realities of life in America today as we strive to achieve the American Dream.
We don't think there's one American Dream, but a multitude of American Dreams. We hope you’ll share your vision of the American Dream, the ways it is changing, and how you and your neighbors are adapting. Just email email@example.com or comment on this article.
The local aspect is the key to Dispatches and the reason this effort is something that sets Patch apart from all the other media attempts to address such big issues as unemployment, health care, debt, bank failures, taxes, housing and education.
The goal is not to push a national perspective. Instead, we are going to tell the ever-changing American epic of how we survive and thrive one story at a time. Each Dispatches story for Canton-Sixes Patch will be a piece in the local puzzle.
The resulting local puzzles at the three Patches in Cherokee will form a picture of life across the county. The 42 Patches in Georgia will develop an even bigger picture of life across our swath of the state.
And with the Dispatches from more than 850 Patches, a national mosaic of American life will take shape. You’ll see the good and the bad, the hopeful and the desperate, people overcoming adversity and finding opportunity amid the crises we hear about every day, and people struggling just to make it to the next day.
You’ve seen such stories already on Canton-Sixes Patch. Some examples:
- After a citizen alerted Canton Mayor Gene Hobgood to homeless people living in a wooded area behind MUST Ministries, the city spearheaded an effort to get them warm, temporary shelter.
- Saddled with $12 million worth of debt, American Heritage Academy, one of the county's largest private schools, lost its building to foreclosure.
- Behind on bills, a Canton man killed his girlfriend and their son before turning the gun on himself. They were scheduled to move out of the Alexander Ridge Apartment Homes on the day their bodies were discovered.
- Despite a series of high-profile business closures—Fabiano's Pizzeria, Old Towne Diner and the Main Street Post Office among them—eight new businesses have moved to Canton's Historic Downtown Loop, brought 33 jobs to the city and pumped about $764,000 into the local economy, the city's Main Street Program director announced last month.
Expect many more ahead, covering every aspect of our daily lives because every aspect of daily life helps build our dreams. The stories won’t come on a regular schedule, but they’ll always have the Dispatches label so you can find them easily on our site. And look for #Dispatches on Twitter to see the national story grow, Patch by Patch.
You’ll often see stories in the media that attempt to set our lives into historical context. The worst economy since the Great Depression. The longest war in American history. The biggest budget deficit. The most important election.
With Dispatches, we’re leaving history to the historians and focusing on the here, in your hometown, and now, in 2011 and beyond. I hope you’ll take what should be a fascinating and meaningful journey with us in the months to come.