The vulnerable population at the Salvation Army



Promotion of population focused care is a critical part of eliminating inequality and empowering the masses towards better lifestyles within the society. Through experience, it is critical to enhance essential services such as food, shelter and effective health care to the vulnerable population.  Assessing the health care needs of a specific group within the population and making decisions for the whole group rather than one individual could further enhance the humanitarian concept of mankind in the society today (Johnstone et al., 2015). As much as trials have been made to offer medical treatment to these groups, focus on their general wellbeing like how they can overcome their challenges and improve their economic situation and break from unwanted behaviors such as drug abuse should be a priority within the context of enhancing their socioeconomic status.

Working with people who have common traits but are from different diverse backgrounds seems to be difficult since it could be impossible to work with a set of rigid guidelines. Thus, the rules and guidelines are formulated to suit the group based on observations, evaluation and effectiveness of a certain practice in producing desirable behaviors among the members of that group (Rottnek, 2015). For instance, in the effort to treat the drug addicts and articulating efforts to reduce recidivism, certain method of treatment may show signs of positive improvements than other within a standardized group. Such treatment could be adopted based on the evidence based results that has been articulated within the context of treating the vulnerable population in Salvation Army (Wolf-Branigin, & Bingaman, 2017). The main aim of doing this is to create a balance between what will work for the group and what will not with the objective of speeding up the recovery process.

Location of the Selected Community

The vulnerable population at the Salvation Army is a diverse community with individuals with different needs within the society that lack basic needs such as food, shelter, and clothing. Also the selected community is not able to access to proper medical attention, better schools for the children or any meaningful form of employment. The other critical group of the selected community is of individuals recovering from substance abuse and addiction which the Salvation Army strive to better their lives. The Salvation Army is an International Christian Organization whose mission is to spread Christ’s love through helping the vulnerable population in the society by providing basic needs for this population such as food, shelters and health care services (Wolf-Branigin, & Bingaman, 2017). The organization takes pride in offering practical humanitarian solutions in an effort of making the process of getting the vulnerable groups on their feet possible. They believe in meeting the immediate needs of the people by provision of wide range of services as a sign of Christ’s love to the vulnerable groups.

The organization is able to support these groups by the structures put in place such as supporting of recovering addicts through their rehabilitation centers. Availability of special detox centers which provide support programs to get over addiction and enabled integration back to the community is an essential part of support offered. Acting as a bridge for recovered addicts to get jobs and staying on their feet once more is one of the vision of the organization (Wolf-Branigin, & Bingaman, 2017). The organization strives in spreading the love of Christ by touching lives as a way of bringing people near to God. Through these programs, the organization has been able to effectively curb or eliminate poverty levels among the vulnerable groups within the society. It provides the basic need to enhance better living through sharing and preaching the gospel to the less fortunate in the society that has enhanced its mission of spreading Christ’s love.

Vulnerable Community Addressed

Over the years, different social groups have been addressed within the context of having the traits of a vulnerable population within the society that has been ascribed by the Salvation Army. In the efforts to enhance ethical diverse vulnerable population, the organization encourages different groups to reach to them for help from all sorts of backgrounds most of them being Spanish. These are groups of entire families, young men and women who are homeless with nowhere to turn to; the organization may provide temporary homes these vulnerable groups as they strive to help them find new homes (Moore et al., 2016).

A large number of these vulnerable groups are composed of addicts and those who are recovering from substance abuse. As the organization puts efforts towards their full recovery, they also provide food, shelter and clothes for the groups and all the basic needs that may arise within the population. Thus, through the spirit of giving and sharing within the domain of Salvation Army church, the services that are offered to the vulnerable population depends on well-wishers donations that is essential to the program.

Statistical Data Analysis and Summary

As globalization continues to shape the modern socioeconomic environment, there has been a critical shift in the social organization that was in charge of enhancing the moral concept within the society. For instance, the role of a family within the modern society as the basic unit of personality development is not strong as it used to be before globalization that has facilitates many youths to involve them in substance abuse. Thus, there is a rapid increase in the number of victims of drug abuse that is critical in establishing a functional society as result there high number of vulnerable population in the society. The shift in economic factors such as technology and high living cost has further contributed to increased statistics of individuals who are in need of the services that are offered by the Salvation Army.

Easy accessibility of drugs within the society has further enhanced the current trend of the need for services for vulnerable population in the society. It is sad to note that a social system that could be essential in curbing such behavior have been weakened by the current socioeconomic factors in the modern world. Through such initiatives that has been put in place by the Salvation Army, critical achievement have been achieved as those in the program have been influenced positively and changed their lives for the better (Wolf-Branigin, & Bingaman, 2017). With this kind of data, the Salvation Army has facilitated food banks to those who are poor in the society, provides shelter to the homeless in the effort to provide care to this vulnerable population.

Poor health among the vulnerable pollution is another critical area within the program that requires effective resources in enhancing the lives of these individuals. Within the rehabilitation centers of Salvation Army, there is a critical concept of treatment in the essence of ensuring that recidivism among individuals do not occur in the effort to enhance healthier communities (Wolf-Branigin, & Bingaman, 2017). Thus, with the growing number of cases of drug abuse in the modern generation, it is difficult for Salvation Army to make ends meet with the growing needs of their services. However, through consistence and determination, it is critical that individuals within the society support such programs to enhance better living for the vulnerable population in our society.

Strengths of Salvation Army Services

Over the years of practice, Salvation Army has touched millions of lives within its programs and it has further enhanced better living for the vulnerable in the society. Children from these selected community has been empowered through education that has further improved the socioeconomic status of these individual families. The provision of health care services to the vulnerable population especially those with drug or substance abuse has further enhanced healthier communities in the current hard economical times (Mills et al., 2016). Through the Salvation Army’s Food banks and provision of homes to the homeless, there has been a critical improvement of the populace in the society. Also, Salvation Army acts as a bridge between the vulnerable community to the better lives through acquiring employment or starting their own business that improves their basic lifestyles.

Weakness of Salvation Army Services

The resources of the organization are limited and uncertain as they depend on donations from well-wishers which often are not enough for the growing number of vulnerable population. The organization have no credible method of identify the vulnerable population, thus, there are high chances of pretenders receiving same benefits as those who are genuinely vulnerable in the society.

Health Needs and Conditions in the Community

Due to the nature of the vulnerable population lifestyles, there are a number of health concerns that need to be addressed for better living of the population. The drug or substance abuse among the vulnerable population is high thus; there is a need for a medical intervention in reducing or eliminating the drug abuse in the community. High rate of poverty have further contributed to major health concerns in the society which provides a critical concern of accessing better health care facilities. Poor diet within the community has resulted to critical health issues especially among the young ones and the elderly in the society. There are high cases of water born diseases such as typhoid and cholera due to poor hygiene levels within the society and dirty water within the population. Often the depression cases have been reported in the population due to poverty that requires health care interventions for enhanced healthier community.

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Vulnerable Population at Risk

In the practice, three vulnerable populations were at risk as compared to other groups in the selected community. These were; the drug abuse or substance use, children and the elderly in the selected community were at risk as compared to other groups in the society. The drug addicts required effectively health care that could enhance their lifestyles in the society. Most of the substance use groups were homeless and required food traits that were logic that the vulnerable population of those who were abusing drugs were more at risk compared to others. Children from poor backgrounds were not well catered for especially in terms of food, shelter and education which articulated critical health concerns in the selected community (Wolf-Branigin, & Bingaman, 2017). The future socioeconomic status of the children and their families were at risk which posed a special interest to these groups.

Community Health Problems

  1. Drug abuse or Substance use in the community
  2. Malnutrition health concerns

Community Diagnosis for the Selected Community

Through experience within the selected community, it could be effective to enhance Salvation Army’s initiative through the socio-economic community diagnosis in enhancing better lifestyles of the society. The socio-economic diagnosis could be effective in health care indicators interpretations such that the selected community needs are made effectively (Wolf-Branigin, & Bingaman, 2017).  For instance, the use of population increase rate, unemployment and literacy levels, family size and the housing condition could be effective in determining a practical solution for the community.

The diagnosis could be evaluated on the basis of community follow-up that could be conducted by Salvation Army in its fellowship ministry. The program would be enhanced through the use of effective community-based initiatives such as starting of business or community business organization that could enhance the socioeconomic status of the vulnerable population in the community.

Reflection and Conclusion

In the practice a number of this were evident within the vulnerable population in the selected population. It is through such experience and observation that I concur with the Salvation Army analogy that sharing and giving is the art of love to other fellow human kind. Helping does not need millions to be effective but it requires a willing heart to share and give the little that we have.  It is through such deeds that Christ’s love can be cherished despite our diverse backgrounds; there is joy in serving the vulnerable individuals in the society. Thus, it is through the notion of helping others that the Salvation Army have managed to touch many lives through the deeds and desire to enhance the lives of the vulnerable population in the community.

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  2. Mills, A., Thom, K., Maynard, A., Meehan, C., Kidd, J., Newcombe, D., & Widdowson, D. (2015). Meeting the housing needs of vulnerable populations in New Zealand.
  3. Moore, W. R., Pearson, F., Rife, J., Poole, J., Moore, L., & Reaves, A. (2016). Reinventing Social Work Education and Service Delivery in Rural Areas: An Interdisciplinary Model for Serving Vulnerable Populations. Contemporary Rural Social Work8(2), 63-76.
  4. Rottnek, F. (2015). As a member of the first cohort of students in the Aquinas Institute of Theology’s Master of Arts in Health Care Mission Program, l learned that my professional interests were converging into a career path of medical service to marginalized patient populations, teaching students of diverse disciplines, promoting professional. Cell314, 412-1572.
  5. Wolf-Branigin, M., & Bingaman, K. H. (2017). The background and roles of The Salvation Army in providing social and faith-based services. The Routledge Handbook of Religion, Spirituality and Social Work, 157.
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