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services independently. Although it is seen as desirable, inter-agency
collaboration often remains elusive and difficult to achieve. Supportive
alliances have been recognized as being effective and efficient in providing
services, but have not been specifically applied to displaced workers.
Wolff (2001) reported that building successful community coalitions is a
highly complex process and identified nine elements that are critical to
successful coalitions:
coalition readiness
structure and organizational capacity
taking action
dollars and resources
technical assistance.
The following example describes a successful faith-based collaborative
working alliance that demonstrates the recommendations cited above.
The Faith Opportunity Zone (FOZ) (, 2012 ) is a non-
profit, faith-based community partnership initiated by FIBCO Family
Services in Phoenix, Arizona. This alliance connected three of the largest
and predominantly African American churches located in the heart of
south-central Phoenix. The formation of this consortium represented a
new level of community development and capacity building for south
Phoenix by bringing these three churches together and leveraging their
resources and contacts. First Intuitional Baptist Church Organization
(FIBC), Tanner Community Development Corporation (TCDC), and
Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church (PRBC) have individually and collectively
served the south Phoenix and the greater Phoenix metropolitan area for
almost 320 years.
The FOZ mission states, “The Faith Opportunity Zone (FOZ), a
faith-based alliance, serves African American and African immigrant chil-
dren, their families, and communities by providing a cradle-to-college
pathway through partnerships, technology, rigorous academics, social
responsibility, and faith.” The FOZ vision states, “The Faith Opportunity
Zone (FOZ) is a strong community where positive life options are limited
only by personal choice.”
The three organizations that comprise FOZ have also taken leadership
roles in state- and community-wide coalitions that provide programs and
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