Live Mutual Project

Expanding community connections for a financially healthy future.

The Live Mutual Project is a MassMutual Foundation-led initiative that brings together community resources and partners to create vibrant and empowered neighborhoods.

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There is a lot that goes into a person being financially healthy
For more than 170 years, MassMutual has operated with a single purpose: to help people secure their future and protect the ones they love. We've built our business on strong relationships. Now we're using our connections, knowledge, and resources to help people expand their own relationships and access the services they need for a better future.  
Featured Content
Here’s a look at our latest content on income instability, the challenges confronting low-income households, and the role that corporate America can play in helping to elevate the communities left behind.
The Challenge
It's not OK that nearly 65% of people in this country live paycheck to paycheck.
 
Woman and a man sitting at a table outside holding a sign while a man walks by
Over 30% of adults faced with an unexpected expense of $400 would either not be able pay it or would sell something or borrow money to cover the cost.
Loan Business Sign
Nearly 60% of households have to borrow money to meet their basic expenses due to lack of access to jobs, education, and services Americans need and deserve. People are going into debt each month to put food on the table.
Woman walking on train tracks carrying two canvas bags
More than half of minimum wage workers say that they have to work more than one job to make ends meet.
Man walking on a sidewalk in front of buildings with boarded up windows
Poverty is a reality for nearly 40 million Americans, including almost 1 in 5 children.
Police officer talking to people in a meeting all sitting around a table
We believe that one's zip code should not pre-determine their fate

Systems and resources meant to support residents can oftentimes be confusing and overwhelming. Support from family, friends, neighbors, and community organizations can help us navigate our complicated lives.

Connections in the community can open doors to jobs, reveal practical financial advice, and uncover paths to reasonable loans and other resources to help meet our daily obligations and goals.

 


Community Connections
Illustration of a woman watering a plant and a man holding a flower from the plant

Focus & Approach

Our Focus on Community Connections and Financial Capabilities to achieve Financial Well-Being

The Live Mutual Project is guided by the belief that financial well-being happens when individuals have strong community connections and financial capabilities. Yet the complex systems and resources meant to support communities can often be confusing and overwhelming. Family, friends, neighbors, and community organizations can help us navigate these systems and access the things we need. Connections in the community can also open doors to jobs, reveal practical financial advice, and uncover paths to loans and other financial resources.

Illustration: A man and two women putting pictures on a wall

Resource Collaboration

Service providers come together to identify what's in the way of achieving financial well-being in their community.

Illustration: A woman handing a man a document and the man handing the document to another woman

Strong Networks

Build relationships with a broad network of people who can provide support and access to new opportunities.

Illustration: A female singing and a male playing the guitar while two people sit on a blanket in front of them

Neighborhood Destinations

Reinvent public spaces to bring community members together to build strong networks.

Cartoon image of man with laptop, police woman and doctor

Cross-Sector Partnership

Bring together business, government, and nonprofits to break down systemic barriers to financial well-being.

Financial Capabilities
Illustration: A woman with a headset sitting in front of a laptop talking

Employment Pathways

Develop skills and access to good jobs that are close to home.

Illustration: A man pushing a shopping cart with groceries in the cart

Local Economy

Earn and spend in the local neighborhood or town where you live.

Illustration: A blue wallet with money leaving it and going into a cell phone

Financial Skills

Develop skills to save, spend, borrow, and plan and access loans, bank accounts and credit.

Illustration: A white fence with blue flowers and a Sold sticker covering the For Sale sign

Housing & Home Ownership

Access safe, heathy and affordable housing, with a pathway to ownership.

A Collaborative Process
So how do we do this? It’s all about collaboration. No one can do it alone, and no one knows what a community needs more than the community members themselves: residents, business owners, community organizers, and more all play key roles in bringing the Live Mutual Project to life locally. We have found that a four-step approach works to identify what’s in the way, prioritize where to start, figure out who can deliver what and when, and finally, ask “what else can we do?” Our approach is an iterative one, we hope and expect to change it as needed to meet the needs of the community and its members.
Illustration: Two men and a woman sitting at a table collaborating
1. Listen to residents and service providers to identify the barriers to financial well-being, and what local resources are available.
Illustration: A woman standing in front of a poster putting sticky notes on it
2. Prioritize which barriers to address first and which of the local resources are best suited to address them.
Illustration: A female and male sitting in front of a white board collaborating while a female standing draws on the white board
3. Bring the key local resources together to coordinate an action plan and provide funding to execute.
Illustration: Woman with cape climbing columns and using a wrench to turn a widget
4. Collect data, gather feedback from residents, measure progress and adjust along the way.  
Communities
A few people walking along the street in downtown Springfield, MA.

In 2018, we began the Live Mutual Project in the Frayser neighborhood of Memphis, Tennessee, and the North End neighborhood of Springfield, Massachusetts.

Learn More  






Collaborators
Two women and a man sitting on a couch laughing

Collaboration is at the center of the Live Mutual Project.

No one organization can address the economic challenges facing our country alone. We partner with like-minded organizations committed to advancing financial well-being and helping communities thrive.

 





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Baystate Health
Springfield, MA

With roots dating to 1873, Baystate Health has been providing high-quality and compassionate health care in the Pioneer Valley for more than 140 years. The non-profit, integrated health care system serves over 800,000 people throughout western New England.

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Capital Financial Group
Memphis, TN

A general agency of MassMutual, Capital Financial Group provides financial counseling to help clients gain peace of mind knowing their financial future - and the futures of their loved ones - are secure.

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Financial Health Network

The Financial Health Network started in 2004 with a vision to help all people have the day-to-day financial systems they need to be resilient and thrive. Since then, the organization has used its groundbreaking research and advisory services to do just that.

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Epicenter
Memphis, TN

Epicenter connects, supports, and expands the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the greater Memphis area by serving entrepreneurs, creators, and organizations committed to helping businesses thrive.

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Frayser Community Development Corporation
Memphis, TN

Frayser CDC works with the community to provide improved housing and stimulate commercial and economic growth. For over 20 years, the CDC has acquired, renovated, rented, and sold houses in Frayser, provided housing counseling services, and encouraged other positive investments and collaborations in the community.

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New North Citizens' Council
Springfield, MA

The New North Citizens’ Council provides advocacy, public and human services to Hampden County, including comprehensive family support and social service programs as well as individual and class advocacy.

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Project for Public Spaces

Since 1975, Project for Public Spaces (PPS) has been the leading resource, organizer, and advocate for building communities around accessible, safe, inclusive public spaces. They’ve positively impacted 3,000 communities in 47 countries.

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RISE Foundation
Memphis, TN

RISE (Responsibility. Initiative. Solution. Empowerment.) works to transform the financial well-being of low income working people by providing financial literacy tools and incentives to help families build and sustain human and financial assets.

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Way Finders
Springfield, MA

Way Finders works to make sure all people have safe, secure places to live. By providing access to a range of housing services that help people find ways to live where they choose, regardless of income or background, Way Finders energizes neighborhoods and helps people recognize their potential to thrive.