Abstract

This article explores an economically poor group of people who create relational wealth for themselves as they learn to live at the boundary of rich human contact. The community's story, and the stories of individuals within the community, demonstrate the ways that our conventional notions of wealth (i.e., money and societal power) can be shifted fundamentally to include concepts of wealth encompassing holistic well being. The ethnographic data for this study is analyzed using a Gestalt theory lens, drawing heavily upon Martin Buber's philosophy of I-It and I-Thou relationships. The author concludes by suggesting that this essential notion of fostering humanness holds potential for transformation and social change.

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