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July 2002Vol. 3, No. 6Thirty Million Dollars Appropriated to Assist Faith-Based and Community Organizations

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy Thompson announced the first appropriated Federal funds specifically targeted to assist grassroots faith- and community-based organizations competing for Federal grants and other funding. The $30 million made available in the Compassion Capital Fund helps level the playing field for these smaller organizations to receive the same Federal assistance that many private organizations have. President Bush announced the faith- and community-based initiative last January.

Under this program, nearly $25 million will be made available to 15 to 25 intermediary organizations that will provide free technical assistance to help interested faith- and community-based groups effectively access funding sources, operate and manage their programs, develop and train staff, expand the reach of programs into the community, and replicate promising programs.

The intermediary organizations receiving funding will also issue sub-awards to faith- and community-based organizations to support start-up costs, operations, or expansion of programs. Sub-awards priorities will be given to programs addressing homelessness, hunger, the needs of at-risk children, transition from welfare to work, and services for those in need of intensive rehabilitation such as addicts or prisoners.

The remaining $5 million will be used to establish a National Resource Center (NRC) and support research into promising practices for intermediary organizations providing assistance to grassroots organizations, and into the role these organizations play in their communities. The NRC will be a national repository and clearinghouse for training and technical assistance information for the faith- and community-based organizations, and will also ensure that the funded intermediary organizations are equipped with the necessary information and training to assist grassroots organizations.

Grant awards will be made in the fall. For more information about President Bush's initiative and the HHS Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives can be found on the Center's website at