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February/March 2002Vol. 3, No. 2FAMILIES COUNT Honorees Named by Annie E. Casey Foundation

Faith-based, Hispanic, and neighborhood organizations were among eight recipients of "Families Count" awards from the Annie E. Casey Foundation in November. The organizations each received $500,000 from the foundation for providing exemplary services to families in poor communities.

The annual "FAMILIES COUNT: THE NATIONAL HONORS PROGRAM" recognizes organizations that aim to strengthen families in economically disadvantaged communities by connecting them to economic, educational, and other opportunities; services; and relationships. This is the third year that the awards have been bestowed.

The honorees "are essential links in the networks that help all families thrive--neighbor and kin, faith-based and secular, formal and informal, public and private," said foundation President Douglas Nelson in a press release.

Among the honorees were the following:

  • Bethel New Life (Chicago, IL). A faith-based community development corporation in the West Garfield Park neighborhood, Bethel New Life has evolved from an organization focusing primarily on housing to one that also links jobs, education, and family services to support the well-being and success of the neighborhood's families.
  • Latin American Youth Center (Washington, DC). Established in 1974 to assist Latino youth, LAYC now draws from the surrounding Vietnamese, African, African-American, and Caribbean communities. Its programs range from job training and parent education to a public charter school.
  • Maternal Infant Health Outreach Worker Project (Nashville, TN). The program, begun in 1982 by Vanderbilt University, targets families in the rural and urban South by helping 23 agencies train community members to visit pregnant women and new mothers. The home visitors provide a social connection and information on prenatal care and child development.

Other recipients were:

  • Alianza Dominica (New York, NY)
  • Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (Boston, MA)
  • Children of the Rainbow (San Diego, CA)
  • Fatima Family Center (Cleveland, OH)
  • Mar Vista Family Center (Culver City, CA)

For more information about the honorees, the FAMILIES COUNT PROGRAM, or the Annie E. Casey Foundation, visit the Annie E. Casey Foundation website at