(Issue #622) A Functioning Community is More than a Zip Code

Consider your community’s assets and needs. Consider the interlocking nature of the people, place, and purpose your community attempts to serve.


A community may be viewed as a point on the map—yet it is more than just a place on a map.

A community may be measured by its latest census count—yet is more than just the number of people.

A community may be known for a function it serves—yet it exists for more than just that purpose.

A community is all three. A functioning community brings together people, place, and purpose.

Richard Leider pointed out in The Power of Purpose that life is good when we can manage to have the Three Ps of our lives align with one another: People, Place, and Purpose. His book with David Shapiro, Repacking Your Bags states the good life is “living in the place you belong, with the people you love, doing the right work, on purpose.” 

Those three Ps, also, help us understand interlocking issues affecting a community’s health and wellbeing.

My latest community service sees me sitting on a council examining such topics with our ultimate responsibility to offer recommendations for further exploration and action as needed. As my fellow council members and I examined the initial list of potential topics, Leider and Shapiro’s work came to my mind.

No matter what topic is addressed, the intersection of the Three Ps is evident. For instance, when learning about community assets that address “Senior Programming,” we heard about

  • Housing
  • Food insecurity 
  • Transportation
  • Resource Centers
  • Health programs
  • Mentoring

Each topic connects with another topic. It is difficult, for example, to focus on mentoring if one doesn’t know when or where the next meal will be—or where the table will be for that meal.

Consider your community’s assets and needs. Consider the interlocking nature of the people, place, and purpose your community attempts to serve. A functioning community is much more than one event, one initiative, or one policy priority.

And it is so much more than a zip code.


Video Recommendation for the Week.

As you hear Richard Leider speak about purpose, consider what a community (your community) can do to help people thrive in the place in which they live.


Make it a wonderful week and HTRB has needed.

You will find my latest book, Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit, in
eBook ($2.99) and paperback ($9.99) format. Click 

My dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story. Please, check out her blog.

And you can still order:

  • Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019print and e-book). Available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at the above link.
  • Stories about Teaching: No Need to be an Island (2017, print and e-book)Available on Amazon. One college’s new faculty onboarding program uses the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos (see the link above) would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

You can find my podcasts (all fifty episodes) here.

You will find more about me at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2022. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®
Atlantic Beach, Florida

About stevepiscitelli

Community Advocate-Author-Pet Therapy Team Member
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