Understanding Effective Social Service


Understanding Effective Social Service | SHARE Center Lexington: A Case Study

This third report in ISPU’s “Reimagining Muslim Spaces” series presents a case study of the SHARE Center in Lexington, Kentucky. The SHARE Center is a Muslim-run community social service center. It has been effectively providing economic assistance in a low-income neighborhood since 2011. The SHARE Center offers employment services primarily for former inmates. Other services include a food and clothing bank, a free medical clinic, food programs, and referral services to other community service providers.

The goal of the “Reimagining Muslim Spaces” project is to produce research-driven recommendations to enable the development of a mosque that is:

1. Welcoming: Inclusive and engaging

2. Well Governed: Effective and transparent

3. A Hub for Hope: A source of community service

To illustrate how mosques can serve as hubs for hope, ISPU identified four real life examples of American Muslim Institutions doing just that. Rather than simply providing theoretical advice, our researchers interviewed the very people who built these programs and institutions to identify the secret to their success and the wisdom gained from their struggles. We hope these case studies will inspire and instruct others working to develop institutions that serve and uplift.