Jeremiah Project Report
No. 1 1998
Faith-Based Outreach to At-Risk Youth in Washington, D.C.
Appendix A: Note on Study Procedures
There has yet to be a comprehensive survey of faithbased outreach in the District that includes less visible grassroots nonprofits. We were given access to a list of nonprofits involved in projects sponsored by World Vision, a large database of care providers compiled by Peopleís House, and a list of churches gathered by the Mayorís office. All our contacts were gathered primarily through these lists, newspaper articles, and referrals by other nonprofits.
Organizations that met our selection criteria were researched for as much of the following information as was available:
Name of Outreach:
Size of Staff (full-time, part-time):
Hours of Operation:
Nature of Youth Outreach:
Years of Operation:
Current Source of Funding:
Immediate Funding Needs:
Future Funding Needs:
Nature of Affiliation: (i.e. church ministry or parachurch)
Number of Members:
In both site visits and phone interviews, we sought answers to five sets of questions:
To what extent is religious faith explicitly or implicitly expressed?
Is faith the main motivation behind the leadership?
To what extent does the outreach involve the local community?
Is there a sense of community/family within the program?
What seems to be the parentsí opinion of the program?
What is the nature of interaction between adults and youth?
What is the attitude of youth with regards to the program?
Do graduates of the program come back to participate?
Leadership Profile (faith, education, personality).
How much of the staff work is on a volunteer basis?
Do they share resources with other churches or parachurches?
In their opinion: What is the role of faithbased outreach to youth in D.C.?
What is necessary to reach D.C.ís atrisk youth?
How should faithbased outreach be funded?
How do they fund themselves at present?
Could the program manage increased funding?
The interviews generally lasted an hour or an hour and a half and were usually with the director of the programs. We were able to observe the youth activities of most of these organizations.
Because faithbased outreach organizations usually are small and often unlisted, locating, contacting, and visiting these organizations was a challenging and timeconsuming process. Interviews were limited by the amount of time directors were able to or willing to provide (rarely going beyond two hours). Observation was limited because their activities were often sporadic and often conducted in the evenings in dangerous settings.
Still, we feel confident that we have contacted the majority of the larger organizations and a substantial portion of the smaller ones that fell within our criteria in metropolitan Washington.