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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 29, 2008

Fact Sheet: The Faith-Based and Community Initiative: A Quiet Revolution in the Way Government Addresses Human Need
President Bush Celebrates Seventh Anniversary Of Landmark Initiative To
Help Local Organizations Better Serve Their Communities

      President Bush Discusses the Faith-Based and Community Initiative

Today, President Bush celebrated the seventh anniversary of the Faith-Based and Community Initiative (FBCI) by touring the Jericho prisoner reentry program in Baltimore. Jericho is a grantee of the Prisoner Re-entry Initiative (PRI), which the President proposed in 2004 as a signature program of the Faith-Based and Community Initiative. The program is run by Episcopal Community Services of Maryland and serves non-violent adult male offenders who have been released from prison within the last six months. The program emphasizes employment readiness training and job placement while providing recovery counseling, case management, and a network of partner service providers to meet the needs of recently released ex-offenders as they transition back to society.

Seven Years Of The Faith-Based And Community Initiative: A "Determined Attack On Need"

President Bush launched the Faith-Based and Community Initiative on January 29, 2001 by signing an Executive Order creating the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. This Order charged the office with leading a "comprehensive effort to enlist, equip, enable, empower, and expand the work of faith-based and other community organizations." The President has since established Centers for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at 11 Federal agencies, where they are successfully strengthening partnerships with these grassroots organizations and implementing the FBCI vision within their agency's human service programs.

The Faith-Based and Community Initiative is empowering faith-based organizations and other grassroots service providers to address the needs of their communities. Over the past seven years, the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and the Agency Centers it oversees have worked to strengthen both faith-based and community organizations and to extend their work in partnership with government.

Faith-Based And Community Nonprofits Are Renewing Communities, Restoring Hope, And Changing Lives

The Initiative is changing the way government addresses human need by making grant programs and other opportunities more accessible to new faith-based and community partners. For example, through initiatives such as the voucher-based Access to Recovery program, the Administration is working to expand individual choice so that Americans in need of substance abuse treatment and recovery support services can receive help from the program that best suits them. In addition, the Compassion Capital Fund, another signature program of the Initiative, is helping small, grassroots organizations that have never received Federal funding build the capacity they need to compete for Federal grants and serve their communities.

The Initiative is producing real results for people in need. For example:

FBCI Has Led A Quiet Revolution In The Way Government Addresses Human Need

The FBCI works to place locally-rooted solutions at the center of Federal efforts to help those in need. The Initiative has:

Federal competitive awards are expanding the good work of both faith-based and community organizations across America and beyond.

The PRI Is A Signature Program Of The Faith Based And Community Initiative

In his 2004 State of the Union address, President Bush proposed the PRI to help released inmates find work and make a fresh start in life after prison. The PRI is a collaborative effort between the Departments of Labor (DOL) and Justice (DOJ) to help reduce recidivism among ex-offenders in urban centers and other areas with the greatest need by connecting them with faith- and community-based organizations in the cities to which they return.

Faith-Based And Community Groups Support Our Compassion Agenda Around The World

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) partners with faith-based groups to deliver humanitarian assistance to people in need and to develop healthy societies. The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) represents massive-scale implementation of the Initiative's vision. In PEPFAR's 15 focus countries, more than 80 percent of PEPFAR partners are indigenous organizations, and more than 20 percent of all partners are faith-based. By focusing on principles that have changed behavior, this program is succeeding.

The Faith-Based And Community Initiative Is Taking Root At The State And Local Level

Thirty-five governors - 19 Democrats and 16 Republicans - and more than 100 mayors have offices or liaisons dedicated to strengthening faith-based and community organizations and extending their vital works. Twelve of these States have changed governors, some across party lines, but not one has ended their efforts.

Even in states without a formal office for this work, the FBCI is active. For example, California does not currently have an official Initiative, but in 2006, its nonprofits won more than 1,550 competitive Federal grants totaling nearly $1.1 billion dollars to serve their neighbors in need.

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