Access to even the most essential services can be difficult in rural areas. The downsizing of healthcare services and shortages of providers in rural communities in recent years has left many communities with inadequate or nonexistent healthcare services. The lack of social services infrastructure such as childcare and employment and training programs deepen the effects of poverty in rural areas. In these rural communities, alternative means of providing and strengthening healthcare and human service delivery need to be explored.
One such alternative is for the expanded use of faith-based and community groups to facilitate the provision of healthcare services and human services programs within their communities. For many years, faith-based and community groups have been assisting people in need. Through the use of volunteer labor and member donations, faith-based and community groups can often provide essential services that would not be economically feasible for for-profit entities to provide.
Efforts are focused on populations such as at-risk youth, ex-offenders, welfare-to-work families, food and nutrition, substance abusers, health, and the homeless.
Many federal grant opportunities exist that rural faith-based and community groups can tap to support economic development activities, prevention programs, and other valuable projects for their communities.Sources
Kimberly Konkel, Associate Director for Health
HHS Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships
There are more organizations related to Faith-Based Initiatives in the organizations section.
Last Reviewed: 2/21/2013