The Story of Our Community

“While the spirit of neighborliness was important on the frontier because neighbors were so few, it is even more important now because our neighbors are so many”.
~Lady Bird Johnson

East Nashville Cooperative Ministry’s motto has not changed since its inception in 1965 and is painted above our door on our Main Street location – “Neighbor Helping Neighbor”.  Ultimately, that’s the ideal story of every community.

Our Story of Outreach and Inreach

As a poet, novelist and missionary kid, Haniel Long said, “Each of us is a being in himself and a being in society, each of us needs to understand himself and understand others, take care of others and be taken care of himself.” ENCM believes in that philosophy of mutual ownership and responsibility in society – both taking care of those that come into our doors with compassion and services, and encouraging those we meet to also serve and have empathy and compassion for others. It also includes the idea of having responsibility to themselves, others and family and to practice what it means to be a citizen in society  – “Neighbors helping Neighbors”. We embody this understanding in the following ways:

Poverty in our community comes in many forms. We have the working poor and the non-working poor, but ultimately many of our friends greatest poverty is the lack of relationship.



WARNING: Entering our community often leads to long lasting relationships, healthy choices and the decision to make life altering decisions such as drug or alcohol rehabilitation. This happens ultimately because we, cooperatively, are involved in the daily lives of this community. 

An important characteristic of the families we see in extreme poverty or homelessness is that they are out of relationship with someone or something. People exist in broken relationships for various reasons: death, divorce, lack of healthy foods (food deserts in general), money, inadequate housing, overtaxed friends, lack of proper medications, health care and more.  Our team is working to rebuild those relationships and to help others in our community recognize the signs and dangers of being out of relationship to prevent poverty and homelessness. We hope you will consider being in relationship with us, as a community, and help us get folk back on the right track.

 “A community is the mental and spiritual condition of knowing that the place is shared, and that the people who share the place define and limit the possibilities of each other’s lives. It is the knowledge that people have of each other, their concern for each other, their trust in each other, the freedom with which they come and go among themselves.”
~ Wendell Berry