On February 5, 2009, President Obama launched the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He charged this Office with a specific and critical mission: shifting the focus of the previous initiative from funding to programmatic impact, and helping the federal government partner with faith-based and other nonprofit organizations to better serve all Americans. And over the last year, this Office has done just that. Here's a just brief snapshot of the Office’s work:
- The Office has coordinated President Obama's national fatherhood agenda, implementing strategies to address the challenge of father absence in communities across the country.
- It has built partnerships between federal agencies and local nonprofits on a range of key issues, from making sure that faith-based organizations can respond to the H1N1 crisis to ensuring that these groups are a part of the government's disaster response efforts.
- It has brought people together across religious lines, working with groups on over 4,000 interfaith service projects this summer, organizing a new President's Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships of some of the top faith and community leaders in the country, and helping to lead the Administration's efforts on interfaith cooperation abroad.
- It has worked to help local organizations to respond to the economic crisis, from implementing foreclosure prevention programs to strengthening nonprofit capacity building.
Each of these and the many other priorities of the faith-based office are central to President Obama’s vision for our country. The President realizes that government programs alone cannot solve all of our problems, and that only by connecting with individuals, families, and community- and faith-based organizations across the country will we address our most pressing challenges. The White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships is working to form those partnerships every day, on behalf individuals, families and communities.
To following the ongoing work of the faith-based office, just visit www.whitehouse.gov/partnerships.
Joshua DuBois is the Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships