Disasters highlight elements of community vulnerability and resiliency. Effective responses are organized and managed to provide goods and services to survivors while also being supportive of the organizations attempting to meet these needs. Collaboration among local service providers, such as nonprofit, faith-based, and governmental organizations, allows communities to build upon internal and external networks and resources to prepare for and respond to disasters. Using a livelihoods framework, we analyze 139 qualitative field interviews conducted in the Mississippi Gulf Coast and Southeast Louisiana, to learn from the experiences, needs, and recommendations of people working on the front lines of disaster in response to Hurricane Katrina. Narrative information from service providers will help inform sociologists, organizations, and policymakers about the views of practitioners serving as intermediaries between people’s everyday lives and broader structures and processes influenced by crisis events.

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