Most inner-city residents find themselves without the power to significantly influence or fully understand the forces that act upon their environment. Knowing that every type of service is available they expect an effective response; but they find themselves faced by a mass of forms, guidelines and directives. The administrative procedures and bureaucratic systems which must be understood in order to survive in the urban community have become paralyzing in their complexity. There is a bewildering set of options from which to choose in order to obtain services for basic needs. Few individuals in one community service possess the expertise needed to liaise with other administrative structures. Frustrated with the multitude of misunderstood referrals needed and often unable to follow them through far enough to accomplish the task, residents increasingly mistrust administrative structures. Until new forms of community advocacy are developed and made readily available to every citizen, the engagement of urban residents will continue to be inhibited.