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Salvos IDEAS Crowd

The Village (A Good-Faith Community) - Co-located Partnerships with Missionally Aligned Organisations to facilitate greater Holistic Mission Outcomes

by John Williams | Nov 4, 2019 | in Archived Ideas
Open Ideas/S3 - Feb20-Mar20

► The Australian Not-for-Profit sector is increasingly competitive and to remain relevant organisations must be able to clearly articulate the role they intend to play in this field that differentiates it from other existing and emerging players. Whilst a significant entity within the Not-for-Profit landscape, with great brand recognition and community support, The Salvation Army is not known for specialising in any one social field instead choosing to spread its resources and supports across a variety of service delivery streams.

► To establish itself as a specialist service provider, and a preferred target of donor sponsorship The Salvation Army must identify the social stream/s it desires to market lead so that it is not overlooked by government or philanthropic funders in years to come. The ‘Village’ model attempts to provide a structure through which TSA can direct its social engagement and do this in such a way that it cements its place in the Australian Not-for-Profit sector.

► For example, What if The Salvation Army was to focus its specialised streams of social engagement on (1) Recovery Services, (2) Homelessness support (including Youth) and (3) Community Support (i.e. Welfare, Chaplaincy) and presented these in such a way that all other entities in the Not-for-Profit sector acknowledged that TSA specialised in these fields?

► Through utilising its extensive property assets The Salvation Army could create ‘Villages’ through which it provides its specialist streams, but further to this, create space whereby other specialist stream providers can co-locate with them as well. For example a ‘Village’ would include spaces in which TSA Recovery, Homelessness and Community support services are delivered alongside ‘Mental Health’ (e.g. Headspace), ‘Employment’ (e.g. E+ or Other Provider), ‘Counselling’ (e.g. Lifeline), ‘Family Support’ (e.g. Mercy Community Services), and ‘Health’ (e.g. GP Clinic) services.

► The ‘Village’ works similar to a Food Court at a local shopping centre. In a Food Court you will find ‘McDonalds’, ‘Subway’, ‘KFC’, ‘Boost’, ‘Donut King’, ‘Hungry Jacks’ etc. To some degree they all compete against each other yet because of their differentiation and their ability to cater to different people’s needs – they also end up supporting one another.

► Similarly by co-locating with social services providing for different needs TSA can cement its place in the Australian Not-for-Profit landscape, it can easily promote its stream/s of specialisation, and by default becomes viewed by all stakeholders as the instigating agency (bench mark) for community partnerships. This approach would result in TSA taking on a much stronger lead role than it has ever held before.

► Partnerships with key agencies would be established and formalised and long-term lease arrangements engaged to ensure income is generated to provide for ongoing operational funding. If promoted effectively agencies would be drawn to be part of this initiative or risk losing their place of prominence in the sector.

► Whereas in the past TSA has isolated itself from other service agencies (i.e. by being all things to all men) its strength would now come through its openness (generosity) to allow other services to deliver what they are best at delivering. If TSA is co-located with services that are specialised – there is then no need for TSA to continue work in that space. These resources can then be refocussed on streams it wishes to develop/strengthen.

► The inclusion of ‘Health Services’ (e.g. GP Clinic) within the ‘Village’ model serves a specific strategic aim. By opening up the ‘Village’ to health services TSA can legitimise its community engagement work within the allied health field and legitimise spirituality as a key element of a person’s wellness (especially where this is underpinned by an integrated service delivery framework that includes faith). The locating of skilled Officer Chaplains within the ‘Village’ provides direct links to other Corps ministries and faith-based supports with affiliated denominations. 

► Co-locating with other specialist agencies allows for a unique creative opportunity to develop strategies for social engagement never explored before. Imagine, staff from cross stream services regularly meeting together, sharing their stories of success, stories of frustration but also their innovative ideas that no-one else in their team can really appreciate. This dynamic can also develop where Christian workers unite and dream and pray. The ‘Village’ in essence is a ‘good faith community’ – believing there is hope, healing and freedom for people’s lives.

► The purpose of establishing a ‘Village’ - Base Model is to ensure that when someone engages with a ‘Village’ (wherever they find one) they immediately know the minimum set of services they could expect to find at that site. Where TSA has a desire to establish/continue programs and initiatives that are outside the ‘Base Model’ this site would essentially become a ‘Village+’ and could include additional supports like Training programs, Independent Schools, Funeral Services, Salvos Legal, Aged Care services, Child Care etc. The Salvation Army wouldn’t necessarily need to abandon its involvement in these streams – it just wouldn’t claim to be the market leader. NOTE: it would be important to provide space for other smaller community agencies that provide targeted supports to the community. This would combat any suggestion that TSA was utilising its size to force out smaller agencies – when in fact we could actively support them.

► A ‘Village’ would be purpose built and through regional modelling targeted in lower-socioeconomic areas. The ‘Village’ would be open, communal, environmentally friendly and fully accessible to persons with a disability. In many cases a ‘Village’ could be situated on a church property maximising the use of this space for community use. However where not possible creative design would ensure a functional meeting place was available within the ‘Village’ where a faith community would have opportunity to emerge from the connections made by staff, community members and volunteers.

► It is clear that the only way a vision this large could be undertaken would be through a complete consolidation of property assets. By engaging developers and undertaking projects that enable the creation of ‘Villages’ (i.e. in targeted areas) potentially in exchange for accessible land assets (in areas not key to mission) TSA could embark on a nationwide building initiative that delivers the resources necessary to deliver on core mission objectives (including specialised Christian social engagement). 

► By ensuring the impact of the ‘Village’ is measured across all service delivery partnerships and by proving the effectiveness of an integrated Christian approach to wholeness opportunities for support and engagement by government and philanthropic donors would be enhanced leading to greater stakeholder commitment well into the future.

What department are you from?

Soundpoint (Youth & Community Centre) - Goodna

Who is your target market?

Everyone connected to a Social entity

Tagged users
John Williams

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Claire Clifton Nov 5, 2019

This is an excellent idea John, I very much support this idea of collaboration hubs or 'villages'. We have great expertise within our organise that could support this idea to get off the ground. I think of our communities for children team in Logan who are highly skilled in partnership brokering, and Charmaine Stubbs from Doorways - what an amazing resource.


John Williams Nov 5, 2019

Thanks Claire, I'm a huge fan of the Communities for Children team. A wealth of knowledge, experience and skill. What a blessing to TSA.


Vanessa Hunt Nov 7, 2019

You are speaking my language John!


Harm Slomp Nov 12, 2019

A great idea that may be also
interesting and helpful for other western salvo countries to facilitate engagement.


Neri Morris 11 months ago

Status labels added: Archived, Open Ideas/S3 - Feb20-Mar20