When Hope is Connected to Opportunity, Quality of Life Can be Found

Choice, hope, and opportunity increase quality of life. Quality of Life is found by the choice of the individual, The Salvation Army’s fight for Social Justice and the accountability of Righteous Participation in achieving a ones’ own goals.

Quality of Life is known collectively within a community and known individually within our person.   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 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. Few 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.

The Salvation Army fights the dictator of despair and offers choices that increase our Quality of Life through, 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

Misty Ratcliff