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Understanding Spirituality in Community Programming

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Author(s): (Meredith H Thanner) (Christina Yancey) (Faye S Taxman)

Though faith- and community-based organizations are an integral part of this nation's social service delivery network---particularly to some of the most disenfranchised members of society---there is a paucity of rigorous empirical examinations on program effectiveness and client outcomes. Attention to the ability of these organizations to effectively provide services to clients is certainly needed. Specifically, how well do these organizations address the needs facing many of their clients, and how do the services affect improved outcomes? In addition, what is the value of providing these professional services in a manner that not only addresses the social and physical needs of clients, but also nurtures and seeks to strengthen their spiritual side as well? These are the critical questions that we address in this research.