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Journal Issue: Children and Poverty Volume 7 Number 2 Summer/Fall 1997

Comprehensive Community Initiatives: Principles, Practice, and Lessons Learned
Matthew W. Stagner M. Angela Duran


Comprehensive community initiatives strive to improve the lives of children and families in neighborhoods characterized by extreme and concentrated poverty. The initiatives use multifaceted approaches to strengthen communities and improve the provision of social and other services to children and families. Early examples include the settlement houses at the beginning of the twentieth century, the neighborhood programs of the 1930s, and the war on poverty efforts of the 1960s. Using specific examples, this article describes key features of current comprehensive community initiatives, the limitations of efforts to evaluate them, and factors contributing to their success or failure.