White House opens dialogue with faith groups in Philadelphia

Hundreds of faith and community leaders from across Philadelphia got a chance to hear from the White House’s office of faith-based partnerships today for the country’s first ‘Connecting Communities for the Common Good’ event.Joshua DuBois, the Executive Director of  the White House Office for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, said the event is the first in a series designed to make sure the White House is partnering with local non-profits, both faith-based and secular, to serve people in need.  “We’re going around the country talking about how we better build those partnerships focused on strengthening our communities.  Whether it’s preventing foreclosures or helping feed hungry kids in the summertime, or serving our veterans, we want to figure out how the government can partner with local non-profits to impact those issues,” DuBois said.Mayor Michael Nutter said Philadelphia’s history of religious freedom make it the perfect place for the White House to reach out to faith leaders.

“It was decided right here of course that there would be no national religion–that religion would not be forced on anyone–but that everyone was free to practice whatever their faith is,” said Nutter.The faith-based and neighborhood leaders attending the event discussed how they can help prevent foreclosures, increase disaster-preparedness, reduce veteran homelessness and help people overcome addictions.

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