January 18, 2015
Albany, NY

2015 Opportunity Agenda: Restoring Economic Opportunity

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Re: Creation of New Office of Faith-Based Community Development Services

Date: January 18, 2015

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today presented the seventh piece of his “2015 Opportunity Agenda” – the creation of a new State unit, the Office of Faith-Based Community Development Services.

Faith-based organizations offer the potential to be sources of housing assistance and community development for the State’s highest poverty areas. This Office builds upon the Governor’s commitment to support nonprofits and better serve communities across the State.

The purpose of the Office is to assist and leverage community and faith-based organizations in the delivery of education, health, workforce training, food programs and social services to communities, particularly those most in need. The Office will, among other things:

  • Work with the State Nonprofit Coordinating Unit to help faith-based community organizations with grant opportunities as well as provide assistance in completing grant applications;
  • Help faith-based community organizations work with the Department of State and other government agencies in order to maximize resources and opportunities to provide services in their community, including federal Community Service Block Grant funds;
  • Help build the capacity of faith-based organizations to provide community services;
  • Organize local meetings for networking and other opportunities; and
  • Work with Empire State Development to help and encourage development of businesses.
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Governor Cuomo today also announced the appointment of Karim Camara, currently a member of the State Assembly, to serve as Executive Director and lead the efforts of the Office. Mr. Camara is an ordained minister, motivational speaker and life coach. He is the Founding and Senior Pastor of Abundant Life Church in Brooklyn and previously served as the Executive Pastor of First Baptist Church of Crown Heights. He also was the New York State Faith Director for the then-Senator Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Reverend Camara will be transitioning out of the Assembly to assume this new role.

The Office of Faith-Based Community Development Services will partner with the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Office of Children and Family Services, Department of State, Housing and Community Renewal and the Governor's new State Nonprofit Coordinating Unit to help communities deliver services to their neediest residents and combat the root causes of poverty.

Create a $50 Million Nonprofit Infrastructure Capital Investment Program

The nonprofit sector provides services to many New Yorkers, including the State’s most vulnerable populations. Many of the services that nonprofits provide on behalf of the state result in long-term cost avoidance and savings by intervening to help avoid crisis situations. To support the work of the State’s nonprofit partners, the Governor will create a one-time $50 million Nonprofit Infrastructure Capital Investment Program.

The Program will make targeted investments in capital projects that will improve the quality, efficiency, accessibility, and reach of nonprofit human services organizations that serve New Yorkers. Grants will be awarded through a competitive process, with priority given to nonprofits with State contracts that provide direct services in high-need communities, particularly smaller nonprofits and nonprofits that lack access to other capital funding opportunities.

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Contact the Governor's Press Office

NYC Press Office: 212.681.4640

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