In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, local nonprofit service providers in the Gulf Coast region faced numerous challenges responding to people’s immediate and long-term needs. Experiencing increased demand for services, limited resources, and vulnerability to future crises,several organizations commenced systematic planning, capacity development, and evaluation projects to help mitigate the effects of disaster and to promote long-term sustainability at the organizational and community levels. One such organization, Visions of Hope (VOH), Inc., in East Biloxi, Mississippi, participated in a collaborative community-based research (CBR) and evaluation process with a sociology, community development, and public health interdisciplinary team. Combining our academic and practitioner perspectives of this partnership, we describe how our project was developed and implemented. We also discuss the intended and unintended outcomes experienced by VOH, an important agent for social change and improvement of quality of life for vulnerable populations and the communities that organization serves.

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