An analysis of church social service and partnership following Hurricane Katrina.
Historically, churches have been service providers willing to partner with religious, secular, business and government agencies for social services. Theoretical evidence points to how this relationship may look based upon studies of congregations and their partners in the delivery of social services, however, there is little known about service efforts churches engage in for disaster relief and the partnerships they forge for such efforts, particularly their relations with the government for disaster relief. This dissertation utilizes qualitative collective case study to obtain a broader understanding of the church service efforts and partnerships demonstrated following Hurricane Katrina. Churches played an instrumental role as a part of the wide safety net of service providers. This investigation analyzes churches in Baton Rouge, Louisiana of differing size, race, theology, and organizational structure that offered emergency aid following Hurricane Katrina to reveal (a) how they participated in service efforts and the meaning they applied to such efforts, (b) the partnerships they forged for relief services, (c) and how they partnered with the government for relief efforts.