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Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

The Quiet Revolution: The President's Faith-Based and Community Initiative: A Seven-Year Progress Report Letter From President Bush

Letter From President Bush | Executive Summary | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | The President's Faith-Based and Community Initiative in 50 States: A Report to the Nation's Governors



When President George W. Bush signed the Executive Order establishing the Faith-Based and Community Initiative (FBCI) on January 29, 2001, he was acting on one of the cornerstone promises of his new Administration: to conduct a broad and targeted effort to help Americans rally to the aid of their neighbors in need.

The day following his signing of the FBCI Executive Order, President Bush transmitted a report to Congress offering a blueprint of how his Administration would commence this determined attack on need. Entitled "Rallying the Armies of Compassion," the report stated that the FBCI would leverage the resources of government "to enlist, equip, enable, empower, and expand the heroic works of faith-based and community groups across America" to combat poverty and social distress. The President further wrote:

Government has a solemn responsibility to help meet the needs of poor Americans and distressed neighborhoods, but it does not have the monopoly on compassion. America is richly blessed by the diversity and vigor of neighborhood healers: civic, social, charitable, and religious groups. These quiet heroes lift people's lives in ways that are beyond government's know-how, usually on shoestring budgets, and they heal our nation's ills one heart and one act of kindness at a time.

Strengthening and extending the work of these "neighborhood healers" called for more than any one set of programs or policies. These efforts sought not only actions by government, but transformation in government. Rejecting "the failed formula of towering, distant bureaucracies that too often prize process over performance," the FBCI would work to fundamentally alter the way government addresses human need and remove obstacles hindering partnerships with foot soldiers in the armies of compassion.

As George W. Bush promised in his first major policy speech as a presidential candidate, on July 22, 1999, "[I]n every instance where my Administration sees a responsibility to help people, we will look first to faith-based organizations, to charities, and to community groups." This vision would remain the great charge of the FBCI. In the face of systems designed to address social ills with large, impersonal machinery, the FBCI would push in the other direction—moving government toward solutions centered on the local, personal touch of neighbor serving neighbor.

Laying the Framework

Upon entering office, the President issued two Executive Orders establishing the FBCI's White House Office and five initial Federal agency Centers. The Executive Orders called for an "audit to identify all existing barriers to the participation of faith-based and other community organizations in the delivery of social and community services." Contrary to the fears of some, the Executive Order was unequivocal in affirming that clear, Constitutional guidelines must guide the Initiative—it was to be built upon "the bedrock principles of pluralism, nondiscrimination, evenhandedness, and neutrality."

Executive Orders

  • January 29, 2001: Executive Order 13199 created the White House Office of Faith-Based & Community Initiatives.
  • January 29, 2001: Executive Order 13198 created five Centers for Faith-Based & Community Initiatives.
  • December 12, 2002: Executive Order 13280 created two Centers for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
  • December 12, 2002: Executive Order 13279 requires equal protection for faith-based and community organizations.
  • June 1, 2004: Executive Order 13342 created three new Centers for Faith-Based & Community Initiatives.
  • March 7, 2006: Executive Order 13397 created one new Center for Faith-Based & Community Initiatives.

While the Initiative welcomed faith-based organizations to work in expanded partnership with government, religion was not to be the focus. Faith-based groups would be invaluable allies, but would receive neither special favor nor disfavor. All organizations that could add value to efforts to serve the needy would be offered an open and level playing field. As stated in the Executive Orders, "[P]rivate and charitable community groups, including religious ones, should have the fullest opportunity permitted by law to compete on a level playing field, so long as they achieve valid public purposes, such as curbing crime, conquering addiction, strengthening families and neighborhoods, and overcoming poverty."

The scope of activities called for under the Executive Orders was immense. But the ultimate purpose remained simple: "The paramount goal is compassionate results..."

Prosecuting the Attack

To prosecute this determined attack on need, an initial Executive Order established the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and five Executive Department Centers for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (CFBCI)—at the Departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Education, and Labor.

As the Initiative gained traction, the number of Federal agencies with FBCI Centers has steadily expanded from the initial five. With the addition of the Department of Homeland Security in 2006, 11 major departments or agencies now have a Center via Executive Order.1 In addition, the Corporation for National and Community Service also has an official director for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives within its executive team. Each of the Centers advances the Initiative within distinct areas of human need, always consistent with the mission of the broader department.

The decision to root the FBCI not only in the White House, but also within Federal agencies, revealed how sweeping its objectives were. No doubt, one or more high-profile programs or projects could have been undertaken from the White House itself. But deep institutional change is rarely ushered in from a distance. To truly reorient the way government addressed human need across the Federal Government and beyond, much of the effort would have to come from within individual agencies, programs and policies.

So, while the White House OFBCI would coordinate overarching policy, accountability, and provide other leadership, the Centers would advance the Initiative's vision in all aspects of their respective departments.

Like the White House OFBCI, the Centers would not offer funding or manage programs directly. Rather, they would work to integrate the vision set by the President throughout their Departments' program offices. The staff of each Center would learn the nuances of their agency's programs and policies; identify barriers to expanded partnerships with faith-based and community organizations and work to remove them; and design and promote pilot programs and other strategies to re-orient the way government solves problems.

Through the Centers, the FBCI operates not as an appendage of government, or even as a separate program, but rather as a mechanism for adding value to the highest priorities of each agency. David J. Wright, Project Director at the Rockefeller Institute's Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy, captured the result of this approach in describing the conclusions of a 2006 study of the FBCI by the Roundtable. He stated, "The Bush Administration has built a considerable management capacity to reach deeply into and widely across the Federal Government in order to implement the Faith-Based and Community Initiative as a presidential priority."

The central question guiding each Center is the same: How can expanded and enhanced partnerships with nonprofit groups help fulfill the agency's mission, from DOJ's goal of reducing gang violence to USAID's mission of fighting malaria to HUD's objective of reducing homelessness? The following chart depicts some of the Initiative's diverse problem-solving portfolio and offers a vivid representation of the FBCI as a governing strategy aimed at helping each respective agency solve their highest priority program goals by building public-private partnerships and testing innovative solutions.

Determined Attack on Need

The following is an agency-by-agency overview to explain the chart's elements in more detail.

U.S. Department of Education CFBCI

Established: January 29, 2001

The Center at the U.S. Department of Education works to ensure that every child in America has access to a quality education. Examples of these efforts include:

  • Training FBCOs to become Supplemental Educational Services (SES) providers, which deliver extra academic enrichment to disadvantaged children attending schools in need of improvement under the No Child Left Behind Act. In the 2005-2006 school year, more than 515,000 children received educational services through SES providers, many of which are FBCOs.
  • Expanding FBCO participation in the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. In 2001, nonprofits were not even eligible to apply for this program; now, approximately one fifth of the program's funded partners are FBCOs. Additionally, FBCOs work as sub-partners to many other directly funded organizations. In 2009, the Administration will propose to transform this program into 21st Century Learning Opportunities to provide scholarships to disadvantaged students for academically-based after-school efforts, including those carried out by faith- and community-based organizations. This change will provide parents with more choices and help improve program accountability.
  • Promoting engagement of FBCOs in innovative programs designed to boost student achievement, including charter schools, voucher programs like the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program, and other models that harness the abilities of FBCOs in education-related services.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services CFBCI

Established: January 29, 2001

The Center at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services addresses an array of human needs issues including at-risk youth, rural and urban poverty, asset development, substance abuse, and many others. Examples of these efforts include:

  • Building the capabilities of FBCOs to address the social ills faced within their communities through the Compassion Capital Fund, which has provided small grants and training to raise effectiveness and capacity in more than 4,000 small faith-based and community-based service organizations.
  • Championing mentoring opportunities for at-risk youth. Working through hundreds of FBCO partners, the Mentoring Children of Prisoners program has paired more than 70,000 children of prisoners with caring mentors.
  • Employing innovative models to expand the work of FBCOs helping to fight addiction. Thousands of FBCOs have received government funding through the Access to Recovery program — many for the first time — to help nearly 200,000 individuals, who redeem vouchers for services at the provider of their choice.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development CFBCI

Established: January 29, 2001

The Center at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) engages a wide range of issues related to housing and homelessness, including homeownership counseling, emergency shelter, transitional and permanent supportive housing, and housing for the elderly, persons with disabilities and persons with HIV/AIDS. Examples of these efforts include:

  • Boosting FBCO participation in major HUD programs. From 2003 to 2006, the number of direct nonprofit grantees of HUD's Continuum of Care program grew by more than 30 percent, from 1,609 to 2,096.
  • Delivering needed support to front-line FBCOs engaged in housing-related issues. For example, HUD has provided funding for more than 35,500 new, permanent, supportive housing beds since 2003, many of them at faith-based and community-based nonprofit organizations serving the homeless.
  • Training FBCOs on ways to expand their work through partnership with government-funded projects. Since 2004, the HUD "Art and Science of Grant Writing" program has trained nearly 30,000 FBCO leaders through an intensive, two-day seminar.
  • Boosting the ability of local government to build effective networks of FBCO partners. The Center has held 20 "Unlocking Doors" forums in partnership with mayors nationwide to boost local partnerships and capture best practices for implementation in other cities across the country.

U.S. Department of Justice Task Force for FBCI

Established: January 29, 2001

The Task Force for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) seeks to boost aid to victims of crime, abused spouses, at-risk juveniles and ex-felons returning home from incarceration. Intervention efforts are vital to community safety and crime prevention. Examples include:

  • Fighting gang involvement through programs like the Gang Reduction and Prevention Intervention pilot project, which has built coordinated networks of FBCOs in anti-gang work in cities from Los Angeles, CA to Richmond, VA, and the Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative which provides ten cities with prevention, enforcement, and reentry programming.
  • Cutting crime and recidivism with efforts like the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative and the Weed & Seed Program.
  • Expanding the work of FBCOs serving victims of domestic violence. For example, DOJ launched a demonstration project called Rural Domestic Violence and Child Victimization Grant Program that partnered with domestic violence-focused FBCOs to double the number of services provided to the victims they served.

U.S. Department of Labor CFBCI

Established: January 29, 2001

The Center at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) works to address a wide range of social ills with a consistent focus on establishing employment as an anchor to the process of life transformation. Some areas of emphasis include:

  • Expanding involvement of FBCOs in the nation's Workforce Investment System, which is responsible for delivering training and other support to unemployed and underemployed Americans. For example, DOL's Grassroots program has provided mini-grants and extensive training to small FBCOs willing to work with government to serve Workforce Investment System's highest need clients.
  • Reducing ex-offender recidivism. DOL's innovative Ready4Work reentry pilot program provided aid to returning prisoners in FBCOs with a focus on employment training and mentoring. Recidivism rates of participants were half the national averages. Similar success is being replicated in the nationwide expansion of Ready4Work, the Prisoner Reentry Initiative (which in 2008 was merged with another youth offender program to form the Reintegration of Ex-offenders program).
  • Enabling local government to create networks of workforce-related FBCOs. DOL's SHARE Network allows local government to build Web-based referral networks with local FBCOs and to place government online resources within FBCO partners.

U.S. Department of Agriculture CFBCI

Established: December 12, 2002

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Center places special focus on alleviating hunger and food insecurity both at home and abroad, as well as strengthening rural communities. Areas of emphasis include creating new partnerships with FBCOs in order to:

  • Provide children and low-income individuals access to food, a healthful diet and nutrition education through domestic food and nutrition programs.
  • Bring housing, community facilities, utilities, and other services to rural areas in need across the Nation.
  • Deliver food aid and humanitarian assistance to those in need around the world, as well as agricultural support to newly emerging democracies.

U.S. Agency for International Development CFBCI

Established: December 12, 2002

The Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) works to advance America's international efforts to address poverty, sickness, illiteracy, and provide compassionate partnership to effect positive change in communities across the world. Areas of emphasis include:

  • Delivering prevention, treatment and care for the global HIV/AIDS crisis. Both American and indigenous FBCO partners are vital to the work of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). PEPFAR's $200 million New Partners Initiative and other aspects of the program are aggressively seeking to cultivate collaborations with new FBCO partners.
  • Relying heavily upon FBCOs, through the President's Malaria Initiative and its Malaria Communities Program partners, in the delivery of education, medication, and other vital aspects of their operations.
  • Expanding partnerships between both American and indigenous FBCOs with other USAID projects and missions around the globe.

U.S. Department of Commerce CFBCI

Established: June 1, 2004

The Center at the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) works to create conditions for economic growth and opportunity for communities in economic distress. Some emphases include:

  • Promoting partnerships between business, government and FBCOs at the local level to create jobs and support economic vitality in struggling communities.
  • Investing government funds to leverage private funds that promote economic growth in depressed areas. From 2001 to 2007, DOC's Economic Development Administration has provided more than $171 million to 225 FBCOs that leverage major private sector investment to revitalize communities.
  • Supporting FBCOs with identifying data and statistical information they need to better understand and engage in economic issues, including data vital to effective grant applications.

U.S. Small Business Administration CFBCI

Established: June 1, 2004

The Center at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) seeks to promote entrepreneurship, small business growth and effective management within the nonprofit sector. Examples of efforts include:

  • Ensuring FBCOs have full access to SBA resources. In 2005 and 2006 alone, SBA provided in-person training to more than 500,000 FBCO leaders and clients on the entrepreneurship support and other resources available through SBA.
  • Boosting the effectiveness of FBCO management. Through SBA's SCORE program, a volunteer base of 10,500 working or retired business leaders coach FBCOs on business models to make their organization more effective, competitive, and sustainable.
  • Through SCORE, publishing and distributing over 10,000 workbooks entitled "Business Planning Tools for Non-Profit Organizations" and developing a financial skills workshop for FBCO leaders.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs CFBCI

Established: June 1, 2004

The Center at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) works to address a wide range of issues related to veterans in need, especially those who are homeless, returning, disabled, and hospitalized. Examples of efforts include:

  • Expanding networks of FBCOs providing services to homeless veterans. For example, the number of FBCOs in funded partnership with the VA's Homeless Veteran's Grants and Per Diem Program grew by 274 percent from 2002 to 2006, and 50,000 homeless veterans were served by these partners.
  • Enlisting FBCOs in providing services to returning veterans. For example, local VA chaplains conduct half-day training events throughout the country to provide education and resources for clergy members regarding physical, mental, and spiritual health issues experienced by some returning warriors and their families. In FY 2007, VA chaplains conducted 21 training events attended by 1,330 participants.
  • Engaging FBCOs to draw upon volunteers to assist hospitalized veterans. For example, more than 350 national FBCOs and many hundreds more State and local FBCOs are actively involved in providing services to hospitalized veterans in their local communities. In FY 2007, more than 85,428 were active volunteers, contributing a total of 11,633,454 hours and an estimated $54 million in gifts and donations.
  • Expanding partnerships with FBCOs around the country to provide opportunities for employment to service-connected disabled veterans. For example, in FY 2007, FBCOs in partnership with the VA's Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service hired 673 service- connected disabled veterans.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security CFBCI

Established: March 7, 2006

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (CFBCI), the newest FBCI Center, is particularly focused on disaster preparation, response, and recovery issues. Examples of activities include:

  • Training FBCOs to effectively join with government and the private sector in disaster preparation and response. By the end of 2008, the Center will have hosted 11 regional workshops across the U.S. titled, "Partnerships in Emergency Preparedness: A Faith-Based & Community Initiatives Workshop."
  • Promoting coordination between government emergency response and FBCOs willing to join these efforts. The Center joined the incident command center at the recent California wildfires, acting as a liaison to FBCOs in the region, soliciting their help and coordinating their efforts with those of government.
  • Strengthening the role of FBCOs in the new and improved National Response Framework, which outlines stronger partnerships between the public, private, and nonprofit sector to better leverage the resources of faith-based and community organizations in times of disaster.

Corporation for National and Community Service

Director named August 2001

The Corporation for National and Community Service plays a vital role in supporting the American culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility. The Corporation has a director for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives who collaborates with an internal agency-wide working group seeking to integrate FBCOs fully into all of its efforts, which include:

  • Through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America programs, leveraging the human capital of volunteers in communities.
  • Delivering in person and online training and education resources to FBCOs on subjects ranging from volunteer management to increasing organizational capacity by leveraging volunteers to best practices for mentoring programs.
  • Championing volunteerism nationwide, including the service of volunteers in local faith- and community-based organizations, through an aggressive research agenda.
  • Working with Volunteers for Prosperity (VfP), a Presidential initiative promoting skilled volunteer opportunities abroad, to mobilize more than 30,000 volunteers in organizations abroad, including FBCOs, and launching a new public-private grant called VfPServ to help eligible American volunteers with travel expenses.

Implementing the Vision

The President's Faith-Based and Community Initiative (FBCI) ushered in a top-down overhaul of government's approach to issues best solved through bottom-up strategies. The President projected a vision for a new government strategy to address human need, rooted in the notion that the most effective way to address our communities' deepest needs is to work in partnership with the unique strengths of every willing community and faith-based partner.

In remarks given at The Fishing School in Washington, D.C. on January 30, 2001, President Bush announced that he was sending a blueprint for his FBCI to implement his new vision. This plan called for the elimination of barriers to faith-based and community groups and pledged to solidify its commitment to new partnerships with grassroots organizations by forming new initiatives serving specific needs. The President's report to Congress cited examples of this work including pursuits such as prisoner reentry and mentoring children of prisoners. Seven years later, these signature Presidential priorities have achieved tangible, transformational results in the lives of those in need.

Prisoner Reentry

The Issue
Each year, more than 650,000 inmates are released from prisons and reunited with their communities and families. Released prisoners face a myriad of challenges that contribute to their return to criminal activity, re-arrest, and re-incarceration, including joblessness, substance abuse, mental health problems, low levels of educational attainment, and lack of stable housing. In the absence of intervention, a majority of ex-prisoners relapse back into criminal activity. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, two out of three returning inmates will be re-ar rested for new crimes within three years of their release from prison, and more than half will be re-incarcerated. However, research shows a significantly lower recidivism rate for ex-of fenders who find stable employment and develop social bonds.

The Response: Prisoner Reentry Initiative
President Bush announced the Prisoner ReEntry Initiative (PRI) in his 2004 State of the Union address. Expanding on the elements of the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Ready4Work three-year reentry pilot program, PRI assists returning offenders by linking them to faith-based and community institutions that help them find work and avoid a relapse into a life of criminal activity. These programs rely on local partners to deliver a wide range of social services to help ex-offenders successfully return to the community. Moreover, the programs draw upon the strength of faith-based and community organizations as trusted and influential institutions in the urban neighborhoods to which the majority of released inmates will return. Through the four-year PRI program, these organizations are helping provide services to approximately 6,250 ex-prisoners each year.

"America is the land of the second chance, and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life."

—President George W. Bush, January 20, 2004

DOL awards PRI grants to FBCOs in urban areas across the country (see chart). Each site is working to reduce recidivism by helping return nonviolent prisoners to work through an employment-centered program that offers mentoring, job placement, job training and other holistic transitional services. Working in collaboration with DOL, the U.S. Department of Justice also awards PRI funds to state Departments of Corrections and Criminal Justice Administering Agencies to provide pre-release services to prisoners also served by the DOL grantees.

Prisoner Reentry Initiative Grants - image shows cities and states around the U.S. where P.R.I. grants have been given

Graph found at: 
*Funding began March 1, 2006 to present

The Results

  • Currently, 30 FBCO sites operate in 20 states through PRI. A new cadre of grantees will be operative in the coming months, in addition to the continued work of the existing sites.
  • As of January 25, 2008, 11,565 PRI participants have been enrolled in the program and 6,879 participants have been placed into jobs.
  • PRI participants' recidivism rate is currently less than half the national average recidivism rate at one year post-release.
  • Each year, the PRI program serves approximately 6,250 participants. If the national average one-year recidivism rate of 44 percent were applied to these participants, then 2,750 ex-inmates would be re-arrested within one year of release and 2,118 would return to prison. At an annual cost of $22,632 per inmate American taxpayers would annually pay $47,934,576 to house this group of inmates alone.2

At-Risk Youth

The Issue
Approximately two million children in America are separated from at least one parent serving in a Federal or State correctional facility.3 Not only do these young people suffer disruption in the relationship with their parent, they often struggle with the economic, social, and emotional burdens of the incarceration. When parents are unable to play a consistent role, at-risk children need compassionate adults to stand in as role models. Data indicate that mentoring programs can help young people with incarcerated parents by reducing their first-time drug and alcohol use, improving their relationships and academic performance, and reducing the likelihood that they will initiate violence. In addition, mentoring programs can provide these children with opportunities to develop a trusting relationship with a supportive, caring adult and a stable environment that can promote healthy values and strong families.

The Response: Mentoring Children of Prisoners
The Mentoring Children of Prisoners (MCP) program was announced in the President's 2002 State of the Union address as an effort to pair the children of incarcerated individuals with caring mentors. MCP works to mitigate the odds faced by children of incarcerated parents by matching them with a dependable mentor to help teach them the skills they need to succeed in life. As the President described, "one mentor, one person can change a life forever."

Since the launch of the initiative, the Bush Administration has invested about $257 million for MCP grants to organizations in 49 States and Puerto Rico. To date, more than 440 three-year grants have been awarded to more than 320 FBCOs, as well as State and local governments and tribal consortia.

Beginning in 2008, the program will offer vouchers to families of children of prisoners so that they can enroll their children in accredited mentoring programs of their choice. This new feature will allow children and their families to access mentoring services from an organization in their neighborhood if they live outside of the communities served by the MCP grantees. Congress approved the voucher project and authorized $30 million over the next three years to target an additional 24,000 youth during this timeframe.

The Results

  • MCP launched with the goal of making 100,000 mentor matches. To date, more than 70,000 children have entered relationships with caring mentors. The initiative is working to meet its goal of 100,000 matches by the end of 2008.
  • In FY 2007 alone, the program made 30,307 matches− more matches than any other fiscal year. This total also reflects that on an average day more than 83 children of prisoners are matched with a compassionate adult in their community as a direct result of the MCP program.
  • These children, whose average age is 10.5 years, are seven times more likely to enter the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems than their peers. They consistently indicate positive experiences while in the MCP program with their mentors. In 2006, 85 percent of surveyed youth reported a composite score of "good" or "very good" when describing the quality of the mentoring relationship. This rose to 90 percent of respondents in 2007.
  • A long-term evaluation to further study outcomes in the program began in 2007 and will continue through 2008.

Addiction and Substance Abuse

The Issue
In 2006, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 21.1 million of the 23.6 million people needing treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem did not receive treatment. Of the 21.1 million, only 940,000 reported that they felt they needed treatment for their drug or alcohol use problem, including 314,000 people who knew they needed treatment, but were unable to find care.

With treatment, even hard-to-reach populations reduce their illegal drug use by nearly half. Further, according to Health and Human Services, addiction treatment reduces criminal activity by 80 percent. Treatment markedly increases employment and decreases homelessness, improves physical and mental health, and reduces risky sexual behaviors. When tailored to the needs of the individual, addiction treatment is as effective as treatments for other illnesses, such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma.

The Response: Access to Recovery
The Access to Recovery (ATR) program, announced in the 2003 President's State of the Union address, was launched to help expand the capacity of grassroots addiction recovery organizations, initiate a cutting-edge choice-based approach to recovery services, and increase the array of faith-based and community-based providers for clinical treatment and recovery support accessible within ATR-served regions. Through competitive grants awarded primarily at the State level, ATR established grantee-operated, voucher programs to help Americans recover from substance abuse and addiction. ATR clients determine where they will redeem their vouchers for clinical treatment and support services.

The process of recovery is personal and can take many pathways: physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. With a voucher, people in need of addiction treatment and support can choose the programs and providers that will best meet their individual needs. Increased choice protects individuals and encourages quality.

Success of ATR is measured by outcomes, principally abstinence from drugs and alcohol, but also attainment of employment or enrollment in school; absence of continued involvement with the criminal justice system; receipt and maintenance of stable housing; social support; access to care and retention in services.

The Results

  • As of September 2007, 5,494 organizations in 14 states and one Tribal organization have participated in the ATR program by providing clinical or recovery support services.
  • One signature goal of ATR was to increase treatment capacity by providing substance abuse clinical treatment and recovery support services to at least 125,000 additional clients in need of services. As of September 2007, that goal was exceeded by nearly 60 percent with ATR serving nearly 200,000 clients.
  • Recent data show that nearly 74 percent of clients who were using or abusing alcohol or drugs when entering the ATR program were abstinent at discharge. This exceeds the success rate of most programs nationally, indicating a high degree of effectiveness.
  • A goal of the program was to expand the substance abuse provider network in the areas where ATR services were provided. Data from States with ATR programs indicate participation by a significant number of new partners. For example, 40 percent of organizations redeeming vouchers in Connecticut, and 70 percent in Louisiana, were partnering with the State for the first time.
  • Faith-based organizations were welcomed as vital partners in ATR. As of September 2007, nearly one-third (32 percent) of all vouchers redeemed for ATR services were by faith-based organizations. Additionally, faith-based organizations account for 23 percent of recovery support and 31 percent of clinical treatment providers.
  • In addition to addiction-related outcomes, ATR programs helped clients produce a 31.4 percent decrease in unemployment and a 24.2 percent decrease in the number of individuals with no permanent place to live.
  • Upon discharge, roughly 75 percent of ATR clients felt they had a supportive network or community, which represents a 60 percent decrease in the number who felt they had none upon first entering the program.

2003 State of the Union Excerpt

"Another cause of hopelessness is addiction to drugs. Addiction crowds out friendship, ambition, moral conviction and reduces all the richness of life to a single destructive desire. As a government, we are fighting illegal drugs by cutting off supplies and reducing demand through anti-drug education programs. Yet for those already addicted, the fight against drugs is a fight for their own lives.

Too many Americans in search of treatment cannot get it. So tonight I propose a new $600 million program to help an additional 300,000 Americans receive treatment over the next three years.

Our nation is blessed with recovery programs that do amazing work. One of them is found at the Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, La. A man in the program said, 'God does miracles in people's lives, and you never think it could be you.' Tonight, let us bring to all Americans who struggle with drug addiction this message of hope: The miracle of recovery is possible, and it could be you."

Combating the Global HIV/AIDS Pandemic

The Problem
The HIV/AIDS pandemic stands among the worst tragedies the world has seen. According to the UNAID and World Health Organization's (WHO) "2007 AIDS Epidemic Update," more than 20 million people have died from AIDS, and more than 33 million people live with HIV worldwide. Each day, some 5,700 individuals lose their lives to AIDS around the world.

The Response: President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief
Announced in 2004, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the largest commitment ever by a single nation toward an international health initiative — a multifaceted approach to combating HIV/AIDS around the world with the goals of treating two million people, preventing seven million new infections and providing care to 10 million people, including orphans and vulnerable children. Under the President's leadership, the American people have already committed $18.8 billion to the fight against global HIV/AIDS. Further, President Bush has called on Congress to reauthorize PEPFAR, consistent with the program's founding, successful principles, and authorize $30 billion for the next five years of the program. Doing so would bring the American people's 10-year commitment to fight global HIV/AIDS to more than $48 billion.

PEPFAR represents a massive-scale implementation of the FBCI vision, building an effective, multisectoral response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Recognizing that indigenous non-governmental organizations are the primary and sustainable service providers, PEPFAR caps grant awards to any single in-country organization at 8 percent of overall funding. This requires the U.S. Government and in-country leadership to identify new grassroots partners to administer PEPFAR's treatment, prevention, and care efforts. Within the first several years of implementation, more than 80 percent of PEPFAR grantees were indigenous nonprofit organizations rooted in local communities, drawing upon their unique capabilities to contribute an effective multi-sectoral response to HIV/AIDS pandemic. Part of this response involves promoting an abstinence-first message through the implementation of ABC principles, a policy at the heart of PEPFAR's success.

To further strengthen the capacity of these indigenous NGOs, President Bush launched the PEPFAR New Partners Initiative (NPI) on World AIDS Day December 2005, to provide HIV/AIDS prevention and care services in PEPFAR's 15 focus countries.4 Under NPI, PEPFAR awards a series of grants totaling approximately $200 million to new partners. To ensure the sustainability of the response, NPI offers assistance to successful applicants, focusing on successful program implementation, needs analysis and organizational growth and improvement.

The Results

  • PEPFAR is on track to exceed the President's commitment of $15 billion over five years to support medical treatment for two million people, prevention of seven million new infections, and care for 10 million people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, including orphans and vulnerable children.
  • In FY 2007, more than 80 percent of PEPFAR partners across all focus countries were indigenous organizations, supporting more than 15,000 project sites for prevention, treatment, and care. More than 22 percent of all partners are faith-based organizations.
  • As of September 2007, the initiative has supported:
    • Care for nearly 6.6 million, including care for more than 2.7 million orphans and vulnerable children;
    • Over 33 million counseling and testing sessions to date for men, women and children;
    • Life-saving antiretroviral treatment for about 1.4 million men, women and children;
    • Antiretroviral prophylaxis for HIV-positive women during more than 827,000 pregnancies;
    • Prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission services for 10 million pregnant women; and
    • Prevention measures for more than 157,000 infant infections.

New Partners Initiative awardees:

Ajuda de Desenvolvimento de Povo para Povo — Machava, Mozambique
Catholic Medical Mission Board — New York City, New York, USA
Christian Reformed World Relief Committee — Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
Church Alliance for Orphans — Windhoek, Namibia
Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa — Alexandria, Virginia, USA
Genesis Trust (Ugu AIDS Alliance) — Port Shepestone, South Africa
Geneva Global (Ethiopia) — Wayne, Pennsylvania, USA
Geneva Global (Cote d'Ivoire) — Wayne, Pennsylvania, USA
Global Outreach for Addiction Leadership and Learning — Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, USA
Kara Counseling and Training Trust — Lusaka, Zambia
Light and Courage Centre Trust — Francistown, Botswana
Luapula Foundation — Mansa, Zambia
Mothers 2 Mothers — Cape Town, South Africa
Natural Family Planning Center of Washington, D.C. — Bethesda, Maryland, USA
Nazarene Compassionate Ministries Inc. — Olathe, Kansas, USA
Nordic Assistance to Vietnam — Oslo, Norway
ONG Le Soutien — Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
Réseau Ivoirien des Organisations de PVVIH (RIP+) — Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
ServeHAITI, Inc. — Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Universidade Catolica De Mocambique — Beira, Mozambique
Visions in Action — Washington, D.C., USA
World Hope International — Alexandria, Virginia, USA
Youth Health Organization — Gaborone, Botswana
American Refugee Committee International (ARC) — Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Baptist AIDS Response Agency (BARA) — Nairobi, Kenya
CAMFED USA Foundation — San Francisco, California, USA
Children's Emergency Relief International (CERI) — Kingwood, Texas, USA
Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Management Programme (CHAMP) — Lusaka, Zambia
Handicap International Rwanda — Surrey, United Kingdom
Integrated Community Based Initiatives (ICOBI) — Bushenyi District, Uganda
Matibabu Foundation Kenya — Ugenya, Kenya
St. Boniface Haiti Foundation — Randolph, Massachusetts, USA
Sophumelela Clinic Incorporated (SCI) — Eastern Cape, South Africa
Tearfund — Teddington, United Kingdom
THETA — Kampala, Uganda
Woorden Daad — Gorinchem, Netherlands
World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP) — New York, New York, USA


The Issue
Although it is a largely preventable and treatable disease, malaria is the number one killer of children in Africa. Each year, more than one million people die of malaria, and the overwhelming majority of victims are children under the age of five. In fact, every 30 seconds one child in Africa dies from malaria.

The Response: President's Malaria Initiative
In June 2005, President Bush announced the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI), a $1.2 billion initiative to fight malaria. PMI is accelerating delivery of proven preventive interventions to help cut malaria-related deaths by 50 percent in 15 target countries.5 The program is making strong progress in achieving this goal by targeting 85 percent of the most vulnerable groups—children under five years of age and pregnant women—with proven and effective prevention and treatment control measures.

Like PEPFAR, the PMI represents application of the core FBCI principles on a massive scale. One key element of the PMI strategy is the Malaria Communities Program (MCP), aimed at building new partnerships with indigenous NGOs to combat malaria in remote villages. Announced by President Bush in December 2006, MCP provides approximately $30 million over four years in competitive awards to help new grantees take on community-based malaria prevention and treatment activities to build local ownership of malaria control and extend the reach of PMI interventions to a broader population. The MCP announced the first five grants in September 2007 and plans to make additional awards in 2008.

Faith-based and community organizations play a significant role in controlling malaria and preventing deaths in Africa. Religious and community organizations can mobilize grassroots volunteers and provide access to important leaders in their communities. Leaders of local groups play a powerful role in shaping opinions, attitudes, and behaviors in their communities, helping track the impact of malaria control efforts at the grassroots level, steering program implementation, and ultimately, preventing illness and saving lives.

The Results

  • Through partnerships working in the first three target countries — Angola, Tanzania, and Uganda — aid from the American people has reached about 6 million Africans in the initial year of the initiative. So far, the Initiative has reached 25 million who have received lifesaving medicines, sprays, and bed nets.
  • PMI funding in Fiscal Year 2006 was $30 million, rose to $135 million in FY 2007, and to $268 in FY 2008. Funding for PMI is expected to increase to $300 million in FY 2009 and to $500 million in FY 2010.
  • Indoor residual spraying in five PMI countries is benefiting more than 5 million people and was estimated to help protect about 10 million people by the end of 2007.
  • Since PMI's launch in 2006, more than 2.3 million long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets have been procured and distributed.

Adventist Development and Relief Agency
Since 1986, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has improved the lives of more than 500,000 children through Child Survival (CS) programs, implemented in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the foreign assistance agencies of other nations including Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Currently, ADRA is implementing CS projects in Nicaragua, Haiti, Madagascar, Zambia, Guinea, Yemen, and Cambodia. Examples of ADRA's CS projects include a malaria prevention program in Zambia, where ADRA provides Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) to vulnerable populations. In Siguiri, a remote region of Guinea, ADRA is implementing an innovative program that includes the development of a health insurance program for families. In Haiti, ADRA has helped create community health committees that are chaired and operated by people who benefit from the program.

Inter-Religious Campaign Against Malaria in Mozambique
The Inter-Religious Campaign against Malaria in Mozambique includes Episcopal, Seventh Day Adventist, United Methodist and Catholic churches; Islamic relief organizations; media organizations; the UN Foundation; the World Bank and others. A working group was formed to assist the religious leaders in Mozambique to coordinate existing programs and mount a national campaign against malaria. This group will receive funding from PMI for health education work in Mozambique.

Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA)
MEDA is an association of compassionate business women and men who invest in the lives of families living in poverty. MEDA seeks to bring hope, opportunity and economic well-being to low income communities around the world through a business-oriented approach to development. MEDA does this by offering affordable credit, marketing, and business training to low income entrepreneurs. In Tanzania, MEDA is working with PMI to support an innovative voucher program for malaria prevention among infants. MEDA is distributing vouchers to caregivers of children when they receive their measles vaccination at nine months that can be redeemed later for an insecticide-treated mosquito net (ITN). The voucher requires a small co-payment which increases the likelihood that the ITN will be properly and consistently used.

Access to Primary Health Care

The Issue
Some of America's most vulnerable communities lack ready access to comprehensive primary health care. Far too often, uninsured, low-income families rely on overcrowded emergency rooms to meet their medical needs. Without access to high quality preventive care, the medically underserved needlessly suffer illness and injury that early treatment might have otherwise avoided.

The Response: President's Health Center Initiative
Health Center Patients - Pie chart shows breakdown of patients with different types of insurance if applicable Seeking to expand access to primary medical care in high-need areas, President Bush launched his Health Center Initiative in 2002. For more than 40 years, both faith-based and other community nonprofits have delivered primary health care services, many through a network of federally funded Community Health Centers (CHC). These Health Centers serve people of all ages, with or without health insurance, and regardless of race or ethnicity. The President set the goal of adding 1,200 new and expanded Health Center sites through Health Center Initiative within a five-year period, reaching millions of people who might otherwise have gone without basic medical care. As of December 2008, the Administration has since exceeded that goal with more than 1,200 new or expanded health center sites.

Administered through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), CHC's serve a variety of populations, including the uninsured, those with limited English proficiency, migrant and seasonal farm workers, individuals and families experiencing homelessness, and those living in public housing.

To receive Federal funding, CHCs must be governed by a community board composed of a majority (51 percent or more) of health center patients who represent the population served. With its finger on the community's pulse of need, CHCs can address their patients' priorities unlike any other health care provider and effectively deliver services in traditionally hard to reach areas.

Funding for CHCs in 2008 represents a nearly $900 million (77 percent) increase over 2001 levels. Health Centers have received $12 billion in funding from 2002 to 2008. Faith-based Health Centers are an important part of this work, winning more than $70 million in 2006 alone.

The Results

  • In 2006, Health Centers treated nearly six million uninsured patients, 40 percent of all CHCs patients. This is an increase of over 50 percent from the four million treated in 2001.
  • With 2009 projected funding, the number of patients treated at Health Centers annually will have increased by 60 percent to an estimated 16.25 million. Patients receiving dental services increased 95 percent, and patients receiving mental health care increased 190 percent.
  • The Administration has placed special focus on reaching high poverty areas previously not served by Health Centers. In August 2007, the Administration announced 80 new site awards in high poverty areas without a CHC, which will provide health care access to an estimated 300,000 Americans. The Administration will continue its work to establish these centers in medically underserved areas around the country.
  • The neediest Americans are, and continue to be, the primary beneficiaries of CHCs.
    • Over 92 percent of health center patients are low-income individuals — meaning their income is below 200 percent of the poverty line.
    • 64 percent of Health Center patients reside in minority communities.
President's Health Center Initiative - Map shows sites where community health centers were either established or expanded

Sites where Community Health Centers were either established or expanded

Educational Opportunities for Disadvantaged Youth

The Issue
When President Bush entered office in 2001, too many students were trapped in chronically under performing schools. This represented a major challenge to our system of public education, which was designed to provide all students with access to excellent schools regardless of race, income or zip code. This was clearly the civil rights challenge of our time, as those stranded in long-struggling schools were overwhelmingly low-income poor and minority children. Without access to higher-performing education alternatives, America's historically disadvantaged students would continue to lag behind their peers and be denied opportunities that result from a quality education.

The Response: School Choice and Supplemental Educational Services
President Bush sought to address America's K-12 education challenges through two related strategies: first, strengthening public education through greater flexibility and accountability; and second, providing educational alternatives for students trapped in failing schools. While the No Child Left Behind Act has primarily marshaled the considerable strength of local, State, and Federal agencies to vigorously pursue the first strategy, faith-based and community organizations have played a key role in the second.

The Bush Administration believes school choice is a key component of expanding educational opportunities. The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), enacted in 2004 under President Bush's leadership, provides disadvantaged students in the Nation's capital with scholarships of up to $7,500 to attend a participating faith-based or other private school. Today, more than 1,900 students attend one of 54 participating non-public schools in the District of Columbia. The Administration has also introduced and advocated for a number of other initiatives to involve private and faith-based schools in the effort to close the achievement gap. For example, in the President's 2008 Budget, two new programs were proposed—Opportunity Scholarships and Promise Scholarships—that sought to expand the educational options available to low-income students in under-performing schools. In his 2009 State of the Union address and 2009 Budget, the President revised these proposals, introducing a new $300 million "Pell Grants for Kids" program, which would provide scholarships to low-income students attending public schools in restructuring status or high schools with low graduation rates.

Additionally, the Department's Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives works to further options for families through Supplemental Education Services (SES), or free tutoring, to ensure they don't fall victim to what President Bush calls "the soft bigotry of low expectations". Students attending a Title I low-income school identified as in need of improvement for two or more years are eligible for SES. Parents of eligible students may obtain these free services for their children from any approved provider of their choice.

Under NCLB, FBCOs may apply to provide these services. The Department's FBCI Center makes faith-based and community organizations aware of this opportunity and then helps them navigate the application process. As a result, many FBCOs have become state approved providers and are currently receiving aid to help disadvantaged public school students improve academically by providing tutoring and other enrichment services.

The President's 2009 Budget would also transform the current 21st Century Community Learning Centers program into the 21st Century Learning Opportunities program, which would enable parents to select from among a greater array of high-quality after school and summer school providers, including faith-based and community organizations.

The Results

  • More than 2,600 low-income District of Columbia students have enrolled at non-public schools through the OSP since 2004.
  • For school year 2005-2006, approximately 515,000 children were served under SES.
  • A 2007 study by the RAND Corporation found that:
    • In a sample of nine large urban districts, student receiving supplemental educational services experienced gains in achievement that were statistically significant.
    • There is evidence that effects may be cumulative: students participating for multiple years experienced gains twice as large as those of students participating for one year.
    • African-American and Hispanic students had the highest participation rates in supplemental educational services, and experienced positive achievement effects from participating in supplemental educational services.

Key Agency-Level Activities

Beyond signature Administration initiatives highlighted in the President's annual State of the Union addresses, FBCI agency Centers have helped champion additional programs to level the playing field for local charitable and religious organizations. Following are key agency-level activities:

Care for Military Veterans
The FBCI Center was created at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to engage faith-based and other community-based organizations in VA's mission "To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan." This goal has been achieved through key pilot projects, such as Restore Vision for Homeless Veterans and FBCI = VetSuc cess and Loan Guaranty Program for Multifamily Transitional Housing for Homeless Veterans. The Center also works to leverage greater FBCO involvement in traditional programs such as Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Service (VR&E), Special Employer Incentive Program, Vocational Rehabilitation Services, NCA Contracting Services and Volunteerism, Homeless Grant and Per Diem Programs, Loan Guaranty Homeless Program, and Voluntary Service Programs.

Key Pilot Projects at VA

FBCI = VetSuccess Pilot
The Department's Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service partners with FBCOs around the country to provide service-connected disabled veterans opportunities for employment, career advancement, job mobility, family economic well-being and greater financial security. In FY 2006 FBCOs hired 673 service-connected disabled veterans, up from 362 in FY 2005.

VA Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program
The Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program is offered annually to fund community agencies providing services to homeless veterans. The purpose of the program is to promote the development and provision of supportive housing and/or services to help homeless veterans achieve residential stability, as well as to increase their skill levels, income, and independence. In FY 2007, VA awarded more than $88.9 million through 458 grants and per diem to organizations to provide services for homeless veterans. This program has created more than 8,000 operational beds and serves more than 15,000 veterans annually.

Anti-Gang Initiative
The U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) Anti-Gang Initiative builds upon the effective partnerships and strategies developed through Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), another DOJ effort to leverage nonprofit organizations to reduce crime and build communities. The Anti-Gang Initiative dedicated approximately $25 million in grant funding to sup port PSN anti-gang enforcement and prevention efforts and to provide training and technical assistance to community partners.6 This initiative focuses on prevention, targeted enforcement and reentry of prisoners back into society. The U.S. Department of Justice's Anti-Gang Initiative provides pre- and post-release services and supervision for gang members returning to their communities after a period of incarceration in State, local, or other correctional facilities.

The program advances the President's vision for expanded choice by offering ex-offenders the option of selecting one of multiple faith-based and community providers. These organizations are reimbursed according to the number of ex-offenders they serve or treat in their communities. Probation/parole officers, working closely with law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, treatment and service providers, FBCOs, mentors and others within the community, provide intensive supervision of the ex-offenders.

Six sites were awarded Anti-Gang Initiative grants during the fall of 2006: Cleveland, Ohio; Dallas/ Ft. Worth, Texas; East Los Angeles, California; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Tampa, Florida; and the "222 Corridor" between Lancaster and Easton, Pennsylvania. Four more cities - Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Rochester, and Raleigh-Durham- were funded in 2007. Each site is using the funding to target 100 gang members who have a history of violence and pose a risk to their communities. Participants must be enrolled within six months of release from incarceration.

Services provided through the pro gram include mentoring, risk/needs assessment, treatment services (including substance abuse, mental health, and anger management-cognitive re structuring), motivational interviewing, socialization skill development, domestic violence rehabilitation, job skills development, education, employment, housing, language skills, and child care resources.

Domestic Violence Prevention
The DOJ Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) sponsored the Rural Domestic Violence and Child Victimization Grant Program to reduce domestic violence and increase services for victims in rural areas. This pilot provided funds to nonprofits in Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana who, in turn, acted as intermediaries between OVW and small community-and faith-based programs nationwide. They located potential grantees in underserved rural areas, oversaw a national grant competition, disseminated grant awards and provided technical assistance to sub-awardees in rural communities throughout the United States. The goal of the project was to build capacity in small grassroots organizations providing social services to victims of domestic violence in isolated communities. One of the intermediary grantees, Faith and Community Technical Support, or FACTS, provided funding and ongoing technical assistance to 39 such programs.

Successful programs included:

  • Iva's Place Inc., Lenoir City, Tenn., serving Loudon and Monroe counties in lower east Tennessee
  • The Family Peace Project, Henderson County, Texas
  • Southwest Arkansas Domestic Violence Center, De Queen, Ark., serving six counties in Southwest Arkansas

Department of Justice Faith Based and Community Initiatives


U.S. map shows where faith based and community initiatives are located around the country
Prisoner ReEntry
30 Locations in 20 States
10,000 + Served
18 Locations in 14 States and D.C.
4,400 Served
Mentoring Children of Prisoners
49 States and Puerto Rico
70,000 + Mentor Matches
Gang Reduction Intervention Project
8 Locations
Rural Domestic Violence Project
39 Locations in 20 States
Over 1500 served per month

Fugitive Safe Surrender
As the enforcement arm of the Federal courts, the United States Marshall Service (USMS) retains primary responsibility for conducting fugitive investigations and arresting federal fugitives. USMS has partnered with an unprecedented coalition of faith-based, nonprofit, law enforcement and judicial authorities to create Fugitive Safe Surrender, a program where fugitives voluntarily surrender to the law in a faith-based or other neutral setting. Since 2005, nearly 3,000 fugitives have peacefully surrendered at Fugitive Safe Surrender's three-day events in Cleveland, Phoenix, and Indianapolis.

Assisting At-Risk and Adjudicated Youth

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) awarded a three-year, $10 million grant to The Latino Coalition for Faith & Community Initiatives to help 1,200 at-risk and adjudicated Latino youth. The Reclamando Nuestro Futuro (RNF) project provides capacity building and support to 22 sub-grantees in six cities— Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and San Diego—that provide direct services in the areas of skills training, community service, subsidized and unsubsidized work experience, internships, job preparation, college preparation, GED preparation, basic and remedial education, language proficiency, substance abuse services, and mentoring.

According to results reported by the Latino Coalition, the service efforts and capacity building activities of the RNF project have produced the following results:

  • A total of 2,911 at-risk and adjudicated youth have been served;
  • 1,195 at-risk or adjudicated youth either entered the workforce for the first time, entered the military, entered and/or completed long term occupational training or entered full-time post-secondary school.
  • 212 at-risk or adjudicated youth received their high school diploma, GED and/or a certificate.
  • 41 percent of sub-grantees have acquired additional funding averaging $244,400 over the next five years due to technical assistance and coaching.
  • 22 sub-grantees implemented database tracking and reporting systems to support and expand their programs.

Sub-grantees have focused on targeting Latino youth, as 82 percent of project participants are Hispanic. Through the RNF project, 19.2 percent of participants have recidivated over a two-and-a-half year period. Recidivism is defined here as either revocation of probation or parole resulting in incarceration or conviction of a crime committed after entering the project.

Ready4Work The Prisoner Reentry Initiative stemmed from the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Ready4Work project, which provided mentoring and other transition services for men and women returning from prison in partnership with faith-based and community organizations. This $25 million program was jointly funded by DOL, DOJ and a consortium of private foundations.

The Ready4Work pilot program ended in August 2006. The data collected from the program, and found reliable by an independent third party, indicate promising results. Of the nearly 4,482 formerly incarcerated individuals enrolled in Ready4Work, 97 percent received comprehensive case management services, 86 percent received employment services and 63 percent received mentoring services. Ready4Work sites placed 2,543 participants (57 percent) into jobs, with 63 percent of those placed retaining their job for three consecutive months or more after placement.

Data analysis on Ready4Work prepared by Public/Private Ventures show that only 2.5 percent of Ready4Work participants have been re-incarcerated in state institutions within 6 months of release, and 6.9 percent were re-incarcerated at the one-year post-release mark. These outcomes compare very favorably to national trends reported by the Bureau of Justice Statistics: Ready4Work recidivism rates are half the national re-incarceration rate at six-months and 44 percent lower than the national rate of reincarceration one-year after release.

These impressive statistics underscore the value of mentoring as a component to successful community re-entry. Over 60 percent of Ready4Work participants received mentoring as part of their services, and those who met with a mentor at least once showed stronger outcomes than those who did not participate in mentoring in a number of ways:

  • Mentored participants remained in the program longer than unmentored participants (10.2 months versus 7.2 months).
  • Mentored participants were twice as likely to obtain a job. After the first encounter, an additional month of meetings between the participant and mentor increased the former's likelihood of finding a job by 53 percent.
  • Meeting with a mentor increased a participant's odds of getting a job the next month by 73 percent over participants who did not take advantage of mentoring. Those who met with a mentor were 56 percent more likely to remain employed for three months than those who did not. An additional month of meetings with a mentor increased the participant's odds of remaining employed three months by 24 percent.

Economic Development Administration
The U.S. Department of Commerce has long awarded grants to FBCOs that assist distressed communities through its Economic Development Administration (EDA). EDA's mission is to lead the Federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness and preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. Since 2001, EDA has invested over $171 million in 225 faith-based or community projects, whose economic benefit was anticipated to create more than 88,000 jobs and $3.8 billion in private investment.

Examples of these investments abound. In 2006, EDA invested $3.5 million in the St. Patrick Center in St. Louis, Missouri. St. Patrick is the largest provider of homeless services in Missouri, with 22 programs serving more than 9,000 annually who are home less or at risk of becoming homeless. EDA's investment supports St. Patrick's Project BEGIN (Business, Employment, Growth, Incomes and Neighborhood), a program designed to create in-house employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in light manufacturing and service-oriented businesses. Ranken Technical College has plans to offer an on-site comprehensive Trades Training Program to the homeless.

Unlocking Doors Initiative
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Center established the Unlocking Doors Initiative (UDI) to highlight successful local strategies for involving FBCOs in developing affordable housing plans and promoting homeownership. Based on analysis of the best practices within the UDI cities, HUD informs officials in other cities of effective ways to replicate these practices and offers technical assistance to help cities provide affordable housing opportunities to residents. UDI is a two-part strategy that identifies methods and practices to make a city successful in its community housing efforts. HUD hosts roundtable discussions and forums with city officials to addresses topics like forming successful partnerships, allocating responsibilities and leveraging community funding in productive ways.

Local Government- Nonprofit Partnerships to Address Housing Needs

Catholic Charities Housing, Diocese of Venice, Inc.; Sarasota, Florida
Utilizing a variety of funding resources, including HOME funds, Catholic Charities Housing of the Diocese of Venice, Inc. developed residences and related services to create a community living opportunity that addresses the unmet needs of migrant farm workers in Desoto County, Florida. The community is now thriving and serves as home to more than 100 families. Total project development costs exceeded $20 million and the community has all the necessary components to be self sufficient.

Housing and Mobile Outreach to Serve Homeless Veterans, Volunteers of America of Florida, Inc.; Tampa, Florida
Volunteers of America (VoA) of Florida researches areas of greatest need to avoid duplicating existing services. VoA's services and programs are built on lasting partnerships with State and local governments, churches, businesses, health care professionals and individual donors. One such collaboration is the Housing and Mobile Outreach to Serve Homeless Veterans. Within this effort, the Our Cabin in the Woods program is a uniquely designed project under development in Lake City, Florida, which will provide housing and support for 32 formerly homeless veterans from rural encampments.

Family and Senior Homeless Initiative; Denver, Colorado
One Congregation, One Family, is coordinated by the Denver Rescue Mission. A corner stone of Denver's efforts to end homelessness, the program combines the efforts of faith-based partners and government to create effective, lasting strategies. Congregations mentor families and seniors as they depart from shelters and ensure that the families are able to successfully transition from homelessness. Families mentored by congregations are twice as likely to be off the streets after six months, as compared to families not engaged in mentoring relationships. Over 135 congregations and 250 families in Denver have have participated in this program.