Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the creation of the Center for Faith and Community Partnerships to transform the way in which faith organizations and other community organizations access City services. The Center for Faith and Community Partnerships will serve as a direct line to City Hall, connecting local and citywide coalitions of leaders to services that increase equity and inspire civic engagement throughout our neighborhoods.
“Many New Yorkers flock to their faith and community leaders in search of guidance and comfort in times of need, not knowing where to access City programs and services that can help them,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The new Center for Faith and Community Partnerships will bridge this gap and support the valuable work our leaders already do.”
The Center for Faith and Community Partnerships will be housed within the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit and led by Jonathan Soto. The office will hire new staff members, including borough coordinators.
“In the past three years, the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit has worked to connect everyday New Yorkers to City initiatives aimed to address affordable housing, public safety and other quality of life issues,” said Marco Carrión, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit. “A one-stop-shop for resources, information and other supports is needed and I am happy to welcome the Center for Faith and Community partnerships to our office’s strategic outreach and engagement efforts.”
"Since its inception, the Mayor's Clergy Advisory Council has catalyzed key partnerships between citywide and neighborhood-based community leaders, leading to initiatives that have improved the lives of many New Yorkers," said Jonathan Soto, Executive Director of the Center for Faith and Community Partnerships."The Center for Faith and Community Partnerships will broaden the impact of City Hall's existing initiatives, and we look forward to bringing all New Yorkers into this important work."
“It is with great enthusiasm that I applaud Mayor de Blasio's latest initiative to connect New Yorkers to resources that exist within City government. The Center for Faith and Community Partnerships will creatively engage and partner with the City's faith and community leaders to deliver these much needed resources,” said Reverend Michael A. Walrond Jr., Senior Pastor at First Corinthian Baptist and Chair of the Mayor's Clergy Advisory Council.
"As we address the city's critical need for affordable housing, it is imperative that we seize every opportunity to press land into service for affordable homes," said Vicki Been, Commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. "That is why HPD has been working closely with the Mayor’s Clergy Advisory Council and the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit to let faith-based institutions and other mission-driven organizations know about opportunities for the preservation and development of affordable housing, and work with them to provide their communities with tenant protection resources. We look forward to working with the Center for Faith and Community Partnerships to support the many faith and community based organizations with underused land that could help meet the need for quality, safe, affordable housing."
“Community and faith-organizations already help us to reach and serve New Yorkers from all walks of life,” said Michael Owh, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services. “The new center will increase our capacity to find new partners and develop relevant programs to meet the needs of our diverse residents.”
"Supporting our faith and community leaders by better connecting them to City services is critical to ensuring neighborhoods across the city are plugged into those resources," said NYC Chief Service Officer Paula Gavin. "NYC Service is excited to support this effort to help catalyze civic engagement and we thank the Mayor's Community Affairs Unit for their leadership."