Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

Document Type



This research presents themes which generate insight about why religious organizations in New Orleans accept or decline government funding for disaster relief and rebuilding. A total of eight in-depth interviews were conducted with church representatives to explore opinions regarding churches’ stance on obtaining federal funding for emergency aid provided to survivors of Hurricane Katrina and also for rebuilding purposes. Furthermore, quantitative results were obtained in collaboration with the LSU Public Policy Research Lab as part of a cross-sectional, exploratory study. The Public Policy Research Lab contacted an additional total of 54 churches (N=62) in the New Orleans metropolitan area were asked to respond to a 62-item telephone survey requesting information about the tangible and spiritual relief efforts provided to survivors and their congregation following the storm and currently as rebuilding efforts continue. Findings reveal over half of churches surveyed believe the government should provide reimbursement for emergency aid provided following a disaster. Yet, only 11.3% of churches report actually accessing government funding to provide services. As rebuilding in New Orleans continues, this research may contribute to understanding what factors may influence churches’ support of publicly funded social services. Implications for a continued partnership between religious organizations and government agencies will be discussed.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Daphne Cain



Included in

Social Work Commons