Building Community Trust through Cooperatives: the case of Caring Home Services.
Building Community Trust
The case of Caring Home Services
Wilson Majee, PhD
University of Missouri Extension
102 S. Broadway
Princeton, MO 64673
Building Community Trust
Why the fuss about building community trust?
SOCIAL CAPITAL INDICATORS
stronger communities are
built on trust, participation
Participation/ and networking.
So what matters? Organizations that build trust:
Principles and values
Voluntary and Open Membership
Democratic Member Control
Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Education, Training and Information
Concern for community
Member Economic Participation
Autonomy and Independence
How do worker-owned cooperatives create TRUST?
When cooperatives create TRUST, how do they do it?
Assuming cooperatives create trust, worker-owned cooperatives provide
the greatest opportunity for the creation of trust and enhancement of
Case Study : Caring Home Services, a worker-owned
83 member owners
Established in 1991
Less than 10 yrs old
Operating in a rural area
Employees or members are low to moderate income people
22 members, 10 professionals and 5 clients.
Survey: 27 members
Document Analysis: Business Plan, Bylaws,
Newspapers, Newsletters, Reports and Minutes.
They [doctors] were going to put
me in a nursing home and she
[Smith] came to my house to
help. She said, ‘do not worry,
you do not have to give me
money, you are my friend,
friends do not pay each other.
(Interview with caregiver,
August 30, 2006).
“I do see them out in the community telling people
that they work for Caring Home Services. It has
been fun to watch their transition…. I believe it
[the cooperative] has boosted their self-esteem and
their confidence enormously. They have all
learned a great deal about the day to day
operations of a business....It’s not just me it’s now
us, I see that just in their body language. They
walk taller, they have pride in what they are
doing, they are able to verbalize”
(Interview with a professional, May 10, 2006).
One client, a young quadriplegic woman,
described her caregivers as “girls” who are
“dependable” and “great”. “I never worry
about anything” she added (Interview with
client, June 14, 2006).
Members felt they were enjoying increased:
self-confidence (20 of 22 members, all profs)
member/client/professional/community interaction (all
trust among them, with professionals and their clients (18 of 22
skills (leadership, organizational, punctuality) which improve
their employability within and outside the co-op (17 of 22