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 Home > News & Policies > December 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 2, 2008

Fact Sheet: President Bush Has Improved How We Address Human Need Through Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

"The Administration has upheld its promise to treat community and faith-based organizations as trusted partners.... You've helped revolutionize the way government addresses the greatest challenges facing our society."

- President George W. Bush, 6/26/08

Today, President Bush is visiting Youth Focus, Inc.’s Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Greensboro to highlight accomplishments of the Mentoring Children of Prisoners (MCP) program, which has exceeded its goal of securing mentor matches for 100,000 children with incarcerated parents. Today, more than 110,000 children of prisoners have been matched with a caring mentor who can provide the consistent guidance and support these children need to succeed in life.

  • Launched in the President’s 2003 State of the Union address, MCP applies the principles of the Faith-Based and Community Initiative by working in partnership with hundreds of religious and other community nonprofits to recruit and train mentors who offer stability in the lives of children whose parents are behind bars.These groups and their volunteers offer a committed presence and personal guidance to help steer these young people toward a life of opportunity and achievement.

The Faith-Based and Community Initiative Has Revolutionized The Way Our Government Addresses The Greatest Challenges Facing Our Society

  • President Bush created the Faith-Based and Community Initiative with his first Executive Order to lead a determined attack on need in partnerships with frontline nonprofits and to ensure faith-based organizations were welcomed as equal allies in this work. The Initiative has transformed the way government addresses human need and increased its effectiveness by:
    • Expanding partnerships with local nonprofits to battle poverty, disease and other ills.
    • Securing a “level playing field” for faith-based organizations and establishing clear, constitutional guidelines for their use of public funds.
  • To strengthen America’s “armies of compassion,” the Initiative:
    • Trained more than 150,000 social entrepreneurs on how to increase the impact of their work.
    • Supported amendments to the tax code that provide greater incentives for charitable giving and activities.
    • Established the Compassion Capital Fund to provide grants and training designed to increase the effectiveness of grassroots nonprofits.

The Faith-Based and Community Initiative “has fundamentally changed the government's strategy for improving the lives of the downtrodden…. [D]ue to the achievements of faith-based charities that have received Federal aid, the partnership between government and religious organizations will continue to strengthen.”

– Peyton Miller, Harvard Political Review, 11/5/08


The Faith-Based And Community Initiative Joined With The Armies Of Compassion To Wage A Determined Attack On Need

  • Access to Recovery (ATR) program:Provided nearly 270,000 recovering addicts with vouchers that enabled them to choose from an expansive network of faith-based and other community organizations (FBCOs) for the clinical and supportive services that best met their individual needs. Thousands of participating FBCOs helped produce results that outperform many national programs on multiple measures.
  • The President’s Prisoner Re-entry Initiative: Links returning nonviolent offenders with FBCOs that help them find work and avoid relapse into criminal activity. Participants’ rate of re-arrest within one year of release is 15 percent, less than half the national average.
  • Disadvantaged Students: More than 515,000 children received after-school tutoring annually through Supplemental Educational Service providers, including FBCO partners.
  • Community Health Services: The President’s Community Health Center Initiative exceeded its goal of creating or expanding 1,200 community-based health centers, many of which are operated by FBCO grantees. The number of low-income individuals receiving medical services from these centers annually has increased by 5.8 million since 2001.
  • Homelessness: Federal partnerships with FBCOs have been greatly expanded to combat homelessness, contributing to a nearly 30 percent reduction in chronic homelessness (approximately 50,000 individuals) from 2005 to 2007. The estimated number of homeless veterans was cut by nearly 40 percent from 2001 to 2007.
  • Global Health:In FY 2007 alone, 87 percent of partners in the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) were local organizations, mostly faith-based and community groups. The latest results show that PEPFAR now supports life-saving treatment for more than 2 million people worldwide.

The Faith-Based And Community Initiative Built A Powerful Network Of Public-Private Partnerships To Address Need

  • Last year, the Federal government awarded direct, competitive grants to more than 19,000 FBCOs. Of those, more than 3,200 grants, totaling more than $2.2 billion, were awarded to faith-based organizations.
  • The President’s vision inspired State governments to develop their own FBCI programs. Today, 35 governors (19 Democrats and 16 Republicans) and 70 mayors of both parties have their own Faith-Based and Community Initiative offices and/or liaisons.

Replication Of The FBCI Across 35 States