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Message from Jim Towey
It is my privilege to serve as Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. President Bush has charged our Office with strengthening the partnership between the Federal government and those faith-based and community groups that provide compassionate care and produce impressive results. He firmly believes that these organizations have an essential role to play in combating poverty and lessening suffering.
Before coming to the White House, I worked with poor families and individuals for many years. And I have seen firsthand what faith-based organizations are capable of doing. They transform the lives of their struggling neighbors and restore their dignity. They improve communities. They reform our hopes, expectations, and standards of success. As President Bush has said, these organizations "inspire hope in a way that government never can. And they inspire life-changing faith in a way that government never should."
All too often, however, these worthy organizations are excluded from delivering services for which the federal government commits substantial resources. Many are prohibited from applying simply because they have a religious name or identity, even though their programs may be turning lives around.
The White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives is working together with the U.S. Departments of Health & Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Education, Labor, Justice, Agriculture, and the U.S. Agency for International Development to remove these barriers. We are changing needless rules and regulations that discourage these organizations from working with the Federal government to serve those most in need. We are urging Congress to enact legislation that will provide new incentives for charitable giving. And we are reaching out to grassroots groups so that they do not remain strangers to a Federal government that needs their help.
As we go about our work, we encounter a number of questions. What exactly is the "faith-based and community initiative"? Is there money available, and how do I apply? Can our faith-based organization deliver federally-funded services without giving up our religious identity? What are the "do's" and "don'ts" of working with the Federal government?
This website is designed to provide answers to these questions. Please spend some time reviewing the information that is included here and learn how you can become part of the President's initiative.
Our Office and its partners throughout the Federal government are committed to working with those people who can bring hope and a better life to those in need. We stand ready to help faith-based and community organizations build upon and expand their good works and look forward to working with you.