Classic Case - Building Shreveport-Bossier Community Renewal: "Restoring Community through Christian Love" (Epilogue)

Building Shreveport-Bossier Community Renewal: "Restoring Community through Christian Love" (Epilogue)


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  • Product Description

    When the Rev. Mack McCarter returned to his home town of Shreveport, Louisiana in the early 1990s, he was struck by the extent to which it remained the racially divided city he remembered from his youth, despite superficial changes wrought by civil rights laws. McCarter, in an effort to improve life in some of the poorest African-American neighborhoods in the United States, undertook an unorthodox strategy in founding Shreveport-Bossier Community Renewal. Instead of a program designed to deliver specific services whether job training or education, for instance McCarter resolved simply to build relationships amongst residents of poor neighborhoods and, notably, between the city's haves and have-nots, in the view that friendships would lead to more improvement than programs. His vehicle for doing so would be a re-invention of the early 20th century "settlement house," in which middle-class volunteers lived in very poor neighborhoods and sought to improve them and introduce residents to opportunities. SBCR's "Friendship Houses" sparked wide interest in Shreveport and lead to married couples taking up residence in Shreveport's notorious Cedar Grove and Allandale sections, and going door-to-door recruiting residents to come to programs at the Friendship Houses. Notwithstanding sharp growth and a $2.5 million budget, however, the organization struggled with demands from a key funder that it find ways to quantify its accomplishments.

    Learning Objective:
    This case brings together the issues of performance measurement in the context of a faith-inspired organization.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: July 15, 2005
    HKS Case Number: 1794.1
    Case Author: Howard Husock
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 3
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    Funding Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
    _year: 2000-2009
    _pages: 1-15
    _geography: US & Canada
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