|RELEASE: Hochul convenes the NYS Office of Faith and Non-Profit Development Services formerly known as the Office of Faith-Based Community Development and Services
|NOVEMBER 28, 2023
Governor Hochul Convenes the New York State Office of Faith and Non-Profit Development Services
Will Work With Diverse Group of Faith Leaders to Help Address Mental Health, Hate Crimes and Community Safety, Affordability, and Other Urgent Challenges
Reimagined Office to Connect State Government Resources to Communities in Need
Governor Kathy Hochul today convened the newly reimagined Office of Faith and Non-Profit Development Services. The Office, formerly known as New York’s Office of Faith-Based Community Development and Services, will help provide assistance to vulnerable New Yorkers and connect communities to state grant opportunities.
“Scripture says, ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." At a time when many New Yorkers are struggling, we are reminded of this responsibility to support and uplift each other, which makes all of us stronger,” Governor Hochul said. “The Office of Faith and Non-Profit Development Services, along with the Interfaith Advisory Council, are experienced faith leaders who know what their congregants and residents need, they understand faith overcomes divisiveness and it is with their eyes and ears we can help those who need it most.”
Faith communities are well positioned to help address some of the biggest challenges facing New Yorkers, including the residual impacts of a global pandemic on economic security and mental health, a recent increase in hate crimes and social division, and the need for more affordable housing and good jobs. In addition, many New Yorkers are unaware of the resources and services available to them, and the Office will educate communities about grants and programs and help them to navigate the application and approval process.
Within today’s announcement, Governor Hochul marked the establishment of the New York State Interfaith Council, led by a diverse-member Executive Committee, to build and foster relationships across New York State’s communities.
The Council, led by the Executive Committee in collaboration with the Director of the Faith Office, is immersed in the faith community. It will be tasked with gathering resources and collectively addressing issues in those communities, all in partnership with State government, the private sector and the Office of Faith-Based and Community Development Services. To help accomplish this endeavor, these leaders, as Executive members of the Office, will travel to every county of New York on an educational tour to connect resources to those who need them. The 62-county tour will focus on identifying key partners in all corners of the state, identifying on-the-ground issues by:
Capacity Building: Connecting faith-based and non-profit organizations with grant opportunities
Coalition Building: Organizing local meetings for networking and other opportunities
Community Outreach: Working with OTDA, OCFS, DOS, HCR, and the Governor's State Nonprofit Coordinating Unit to help communities deliver services to their neediest residents and combat the root causes of poverty
Providing support on obtaining grants
This strategy will facilitate state agencies’ connections to communities in need by investing $5 million to establish operations and facilitate grantmaking. Initial funding will be $1.5M, rising to $3M as the Office will be empowered to make grants to nonprofits up to $3.5M. Those resources include but are not limited to affordable housing, responding to bias and prevention of hate crimes, tackling maternal mortality, access to mental health care, making neighborhoods safe and helping more people afford a college education.
Leading The Office of Faith and Non-Profit Development Services will be Pastor Caura N. Washington. Prior to her appointment as Director of the Office of Faith & Non-Profit Development, Minister Washington was the Assistant Pastor at the New Mount Zion Baptist Church located in Harlem.
The New York State Office of Faith and Non-Profit Development Services Director Caura N. Washington said, “I am honored to serve as the Director of Faith and Nonprofit Development Services under the leadership of Governor Kathy Hochul. The Governor has proven her dedication and commitment to the Faith community by re-establishing and reinvigorating this office. I anticipate working with faith leaders and nonprofit organizations across the state to give voice to the ever-evolving needs of every community and the amazing work that has already been accomplished by the faith community.”
New York State Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, “The Department of State stands ready and willing to provide support to the New York Office of Faith & Non-Profit Development. Governor Hochul knows Interfaith leaders can serve as catalysts for unity and understanding and that by bringing them together we can build strong and cohesive communities and become a powerful force for positive change.”
Executive Committee members are:
Internal Chair: Secretary Robert Rodriguez
President: Reverend A.R. Bernard
Jennifer Jones Austin
Rabbi Deborah Bravo
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum
Monsignor Kevin Sullivan
Pastor Darius Pridgen
Reverend Kia Brooks
Reverend Dr. Franklyn Richardson
Bishop Frank White
Reverend John Carter
Imam Mansoor Rafiq
Bishop Raymond Rivera
Reverend Dr. Malcolm J. Byrd
Pastor Carl Washington, Jr.
Reverend Dr. Johnnie Green