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People in crisis often require multiple community services. A homeless person may need medical health care and behavioral health care, along with shelter. A woman who is the victim of domestic abuse may need help with childcare, transportation, food, and emergency housing. Comprehensive community initiatives (CCIs) attempt to provide this interrelated range of community services.
CCIs developed as a part of community building efforts in the late 1980’s (Kubisch, 1996; Stagner and Duran, 1997). “Comprehensive” can either refer to an initiative that incorporates social, educational, cultural, physical, and economic development in a community or to an initiative whose purpose is to coordinate a system of services, rather than offer isolated services (Kubisch; Parachini and Covington, 2001; Stagner and Duran). The “community” involved in a CCI may be a neighborhood, city, or county.
The goal of some initiatives is to build a strong community by developing local capacity that will be effective in dealing with problems the community may face in the future (Kubisch, 1996). Other initiatives aim to pool funding from separate programs (O’Brien, 1997) and coordinate social services across programs to make them more available to all people in need (Stagner and Duran, 1997). CCIs may focus on a broad goal, such as better and more responsive services, or a more specific goal, such as decreasing teen pregnancy rates (Stagner and Duran).