- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 19, 2001

Private organizations and corporations, following the lead of President Bush and the federal government, are making more financial support available for church-affiliated programs, according to clergy attending a Washington conference yesterday.
Clergymen, volunteers and youth workers from 16 programs around the country were on hand for the three-day Faith-Based Demonstration for High Risk Youth, exchanging ideas and information on how to find private funding for social programs.
Many of those attending said the sources of private funding — individuals, foundations and corporations — seem to be more receptive to faith-based programs since President Bush took office.
The conference, which ended yesterday, was sponsored by Philadelphia-based Public Private Ventures — a nonprofit that has helped connect donors and programs since 1979.
"We were started to find promising approaches to help high-risk youth. We track different programs throughout the country to see if they work, then communicate those proven initiatives to funders," said PPV President Gary Walker.
Originally, the nonprofit group focused solely on secular programs, but PPV began working with churches after Mr. Walker met in 1996 with John DiIulio, one of the architects of the White House effort to redirect federal spending on social problems to faith-based organizations.
Mr. DiIulio, head of the new White House Office on Faith-Based and Community Initiative, was then a professor.
"I had a long talk about faith-based programs for older, high-risk youth and how we could help them," Mr. Walker said, and Mr. DiIulio directed him to Boston and the Rev. Eugene Rivers, who was running a successful program in Dorchester.
In that program, Mr. Walker said, "There was no fighting against justice agencies and the volunteers were working at night when the teen-agers would be on the street.
"We decided to deal with the issue and use approach as a framework, and to see why it worked," said Mr. Walker.
In the District, the East of the River Clergy Police Community Partnership was running a similar program with the aid of the Metropolitan Police Department.
In 1998, one of CPCPs first programs — the Law Enforcement Community Outreach Program — was working, despite problems with funding.
"That was one of our first programs," said the Rev. Anthony Motley of Outreach Ministries — a church on South Capitol Street SE.
CPCP board members such as Mr. Motley and volunteers such as Assistant Police Chief Michael J. Fitzgerald began contacting other church-based programs across the country, sharing ideas on keeping youth "off the streets and out of trouble," said Chief Fitzgerald, one of those attending yesterdays conference.
"When Chief Ramsey first came, he thought there was something missing between the community and police force," said Chief Fitzgerald.
Chief Ramsey and Chief Fitzgerald met with other D.C. ministers to form an alliance aimed at combating youth violence and other problems — drugs, teen pregnancy and gangs.
"We found that we had the same goals, and recognized that youth trusted the ministers more than the police and bonding together serves the community," said Chief Fitzgerald.
"We met with Reverend Rivers and copied his formula, and the goal now is to get national funders to the table," the Rev. Donald Isaac, executive director for CPCP, saud.


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