Professor, Jane Addams College of Social Work
- The services provided by the faith-based organization (FBO), including assistance with gaining employment and obtaining social benefits, are frequently sought by both returning prisoners and people living in under-resourced neighborhoods.
- Poverty is an underlying issue involved in almost all requests for service by clients of the faith-based organization.
- Among the most common requests for service of the FBO are assistance with hunger, housing, transportation, employment and justice system encounters.
- Services provided by the FBO include helping to meet practical needs, job assistance, social development and personal growth programs, connecting clients to additional services and creating a community of fellowship.
In the article, “Starting All Over: Service Needs and Service Responses in an Urban Neighborhood,” Hairston examines the role a faith-based, grassroots resource center in Memphis, Tennessee plays in assisting prisoners reentering the community as well as serving those without a criminal record. Hairston concludes that “the odds that men and women living in poor neighborhoods can successfully address the many challenges they face with little or no support are negligible.” While the faith-based organization (FBO) does not have unlimited resources or even a full staff, Hairston identifies the main strength of the FBO as having a sense of what it means and what it takes to “start all over.” Hairston continues that the FBO demonstrates what organizations can and should do to assist the general population in poor communities and, specifically, for returning prisoners and their families.