#LifeJustRight is Life in Community

Reflecting the Quality of Community in the Lives of Others Increases the Quality of Life of Us.  This is #LifeJustRight.

Nashville is the “It” City.  A small town exploding with energy, population growth and housing costs has now experiencing the highest rise in cost of living in the country.[1]  The strength of Nashville continues to be the strength of community.  Neighbors who wave along the roadway are welcoming those from around the country looking “home.”  A home is much more than housing, a home is a place of community.  Society is gaining understanding that our strength is found in our connections to each other.  An element of stable housing and community resilience is social capital.

Social capital (like human capital and even physical capital) is not a single, uni-dimensional variable. Rather, there are many forms of social capital, and different forms have different consequences. [2]

  • bonding social capital (that is, links among people who are like one an- other) is important for “getting by,”
  • bridging social capital (that is, links among people who are unlike one another) is crucial for “getting ahead,”
  • linking social capital (that is, vertical links to people in positions of authority) plays a special role in development and poverty alleviation.

I love how God calls us into community. A faith community that challenges us to love because God loves us and not because others agree with us. We love because we know love from being loved and thus love is our only response. (1 Jn 4)

Nashville’s Red Shield Community has been loving people into and through community since 1940. Community is the response to God’s love. The Salvation Army came to Nashville in 1890. Fifty years later the Red Shield Community came to North Edgefield, what is today Nashville East.

The Red Shield Community Campus is the place to belong, engage, and live #LifeJustRight.  The Red Shield Communities are campuses of Salvation Army Worship & Service, where Music City Miracles Shine. Please join us in Community! Be the Us.  Let us build social capital together.

There are many kinds of social capital: [3]

  • financial – Money available for investment
Real estate, equipment, and/or infrastructure
  • physical – Training that increases productivity on the job
  • human – Relationships of trust embedded in social networks
  • cultural – High cultural knowledge that can be turned to the owner’s socioeconomic advantage

Social capital is recognized as an individual and a collective property.  Many researchers take it for granted that social capital is collective, but most social surveys implicitly measure social capital at the individual level.[4]  Here is the ideal-typical situation in which individuals discover and use social capital: a group of people become connected via a certain kind of relations, and regardless of the exact nature of their relations, the members find that something possessed or produced by the group either itself is a valuable asset or can help them acquire other desirable benefits.

Three things in this situation are recognized as social capital, which overlap on top of each other: [5]

  • group membership
  • features of the relationship
  • resources under the control of the group or dependent on the existence of the group.

At the core of social capital is trust with three crucial elements:

  • Repeat exposure to others tends to lead to greater confidence that others can be trusted (assuming that parties respect conditions 2 and 3 below);
  • The parties are honest in their communications; and
  • The parties follow through on the commitments they make.

Individual social capital is defined by three dimensions: [7]

  • the (number of) connections in the individual social network
  • the resources these connections give access to
  • the availability of these resources from alters to the individual, of which the willingness of alters is a major component.

On this basis, we define an individual’s social capital here as: [8]

The collection of resources owned by the members of an individual’s personal social network, which may become available to the individual as a result of the history of these relationships.  #LifeJustRight is found in connections, in networks that bring forth relationships that make the whole community stronger.  

Reflecting the Quality of Community in the Lives of Others Increases the Quality of Life of Us.
This is #LifeJustRight.

Putnam, recognized in 2013 with a National Humanities Medal, further explains social capital:

  • social capital is the degree to which a given state is either high or low in the number of meetings citizens go to,
  • the level of social trust its citizens have,
  • the degree to which they spend time visiting one another at home,
  • the frequency with which they vote,
  • the frequency with which they do volunteering, and so on.

Practical individual and community relevance of social capital can be found in these three examples: [10]

  • Education – relationship between educational performance and social capital is much stronger, two orders of magnitude stronger than, for example again controlling for everything else spending on schools or teacher/pupil ratios or any of the obvious things that are more usually thought to increase educational performance.
  • Crime is strongly negatively predicted by social capital; this is true at the statelevel, but it is also true at the community and neighborhood levels. Once again the strongest predictor of the murder rate is a low level of social capital.
  • Happiness increases with both individual’s and their state’s measure of social capital. By contrast, an individual’s measure of happiness rises if his or her income is higher but falls if the average state income is higher.

Happiness increases when we are “US”.  This is the culture of The Salvation Army.  The Salvation Army invites and assists the marginalized with participating in the center of society, the center of the economy, and the center of the environment.

Reflecting the Quality of Community in the Lives of Others Increases the Quality of Life of Us.
This is #LifeJustRight.

Practical Implications:

Social capital is a right and reasonable consideration in the resourcing of housing stability.  Consideration of social capital should be integrated in the individual assessment.   There are scenarios where it is in the individual and community interest to resource individuals to reconcile with a community of their greater social capital. [11]  

[1]  http://www.tennessean.com/story/money/real-estate/2017/07/11/nashville-ranked-nations-hottest-single-family-housing-market/466627001/ Accessed July 12, 2017

[2] Using Social Capital to Help Integrate Planning Theory, Research, and Practice: Preface.” Accessed January 14, 2014. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01944360408976369.

[3] “Using Social Capital to Help Integrate Planning Theory, Research, and Practice: Preface.” Accessed January 14, 2014. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01944360408976369.

[4] Survey Research Methods (2007)

http://w4.ub.uni-konstanz.de/srm ⃝c European Survey Research Association Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 19-27

[5] Survey Research Methods (2007)

http://w4.ub.uni-konstanz.de/srm ⃝c European Survey Research Association Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 19-27

[6] “SK Building Toolkit Version 1.1.doc – Skbuildingtoolkitversion1.2.pdf.” Accessed January 15, 2014. http://www.hks.harvard.edu/saguaro/pdfs/skbuildingtoolkitversion1.2.pdf.

[7] “WHF9_Snijders_vdGaag.pdf.” Accessed January 15, 2014. http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~snijders/WHF9_Snijders_vdGaag.pdf.

[8] “WHF9_Snijders_vdGaag.pdf.” Accessed January 15, 2014. http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~snijders/WHF9_Snijders_vdGaag.pdf.

[9] “BIM_initiative_overview.pdf.” Accessed January 15, 2014. http://www.gulfcoastcf.org/documents/BIM_initiative_overview.pdf.

[10] “1825848.pdf.” Accessed January 15, 2014. http://www1.oecd.org/edu/innovation-education/1825848.pdf.

[11] Of course there is also consideration with vulnerability assessment, strength based assessment, and hope indexes.

[12] “Homelessness Resource Center – Resource Vulnerability Index: Prioritizing the Street Homeless Population by Mortality Risk.” Accessed January 18, 2014. http://homeless.samhsa.gov/resource/vulnerability-index-prioritizing-the-street-homeless-population-by-mortality-risk-46408.aspx.

[13] “Iriss-Insight-16.pdf.” Accessed January 18, 2014. http://www.iriss.org.uk/sites/default/files/iriss-insight-16.pdf.

“CapacityInventoriesFull.doc – CapacityInventories(1).pdf.” Accessed January 18, 2014. http://www.abcdinstitute.org/docs/CapacityInventories(1).pdf.



When Hope is Connected to Opportunity, #LifeJustRight Can be Found

Choice, hope, and opportunity increase quality of life. #LifeJustRight celebrates Quality of Life by the choice of the individual, The Salvation Army’s fight for social Justice and the accountability of Righteous participation in achieving a ones’s own goals.

Quality of Life is known collectively within community and individually within our personhood.   Quality of life can then be measured by quality of life factors within a nation, within a region, within a community, and even within neighborhoods.  These are external quality of life factors.

Quality of life for individuals is more subjective.  Thankfully there has been a great deal of research done on quality of life (see Research: Quality of Life) that guides a quality of life approach to serving Others.

There are key elements to quality of life:

  • Choice of Quality of Life Goals
  • Hope of Achievement of Choices
  • Opportunity to Realize Hope

Meet the Person, Not the Problem – It is necessary to meet the person, not the problem. Whether driven by complaints of “homeless vagrants” or compassion for “our homeless people”, many efforts focus on the circumstance of homelessness. Fewer focus on the cause of the circumstance, and very few focus on the person in the circumstance. It is time for a system that engages a person, as an individual. Planning is most effective when it helps to determine one’s hope, goals, and barriers to opportunities. It is important to meet each individual “where they are at” physically, mentally, and geographically prior to determining which services or what type of assistance each person is able and willing to use.  The Salvation Army creates a culture of supporting the Quality of Life By Choice goals of the individual.

Serve the Person, Not the Population – It is necessary to serve the person, not the population. Once the person is brought into relationship there is an opportunity to determine best available resources to assist in their ability/desire for change. It allows proper relationships that support an increase of hope, which is a significant determination of social momentum. It allows our best available resources to remove specific barriers to opportunity. Serving the person allows a shared determination of the community of choice that a person may choose. This may or may not include a service provider. This may or may not even be a community locally. The community that is chosen, compared to a community of consequence, is a powerful tool in changing the quality of life, over time for each person.  The Salvation Army invests social compassion on behalf of the community and fights for social justice on behalf of the individual or family.

People are more satisfied when they have choice.  Satisfaction in housing increases when people achieve three personal goals that lead to the housing that they chose.  This is easy for us to identify.  Think of getting an a coffee on Monday morning.  If you walked in and they said, “You want a decaf coffee, one teaspoon of sugar , whole milk and two ice cubes,” you may disagree.    Now consider Twice Daily coffee; choose the size, choose the flavor, choose the creamer, choose the sweetener, choose, choose, choose.  I love Twice Daily for great friendly service that does not judge me based on my morning preferences.  Or afternoon.  Or evening.  When people have choices they know greater satisfaction when they have three choices realized.  This is recognized in sermons, politics, shopping, housing and coffee.   This is #LifeJustRight

The Salvation Army is committed to helping individuals, families and children finding #LifeJustRight. We fight the dictator of despair and offer choice, hope, and opportunity.

NIV The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10


New Commander’s Message

What an exciting time it is to gather together in Central Tennessee through the mission of The Salvation Army. We give thanks for the opportunity to serve with you in Nashville, a place to Belong: Engage: Lead: Prosper, the “It” city.

I recently acquired a copy of the 1890 release of The Salvation Army scheme, In Darkest England and the Way Out, by William Booth. Booth recognized The Salvation Army as a social economic experiment that was designed to relieve misery so that the Good News could be heard. Today, our passion is to extend The Salvation Army scheme through programs that allow individuals to connect hope to opportunity, a quality of life by choice. Also in 1890, Jacob Riis published How the Other Half Lives, a modern book of pictures that shared the misery of tenement housing. The pictures of the reality of the economically marginalized surprised those at the center of society. In 1892 the Economic Association of America awarded “How to House the Poor” the paper of the year. This is the 1890 era that The Salvation Army entered Nashville. These issues are just as pertinent in Nashville today. This is our shared calling, vision, and mission. We fight so that lives can be changed, so that lives can be saved for today and eternity.

A review of Nashville Area Command exemplifies that The Salvation Army remains faithful to mission in meeting Nashville’s needs. The programs are reflective of The Salvation Army’s promise of “Doing the Most Good.” This modern commitment of our holiness movement is a promise of doing justice and doing righteousness.

This is Nashville Doing the Most Good #LifeJustRight.

Joy and Peace,

Majors Ethan & Sue Frizzell
Area Commanders
Nashville Area Command