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The Partnership Center Newsletter

July 18, 2011

Dear Partners:

Do you know someone in your congregation or community that is struggling to find health coverage because of a pre-existing condition?

Due to the Affordable Care Act, it is now easier than ever for those with pre-existing conditions to find affordable health coverage.

One of the provisions of the law that expands coverage to those who would otherwise be without health insurance is the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP).  PCIP makes health coverage available if you are uninsured and have been unable to afford insurance or have been denied insurance due to a pre-existing condition.

HHS has announced new steps to make it easier for Americans to enroll in the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan. Premiums for the Federally-administered Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) are reduced by as much as 40 percent, helping to bring PCIP premiums closer to the rates in each State’s individual insurance market.

As of July 1, people applying for coverage can simply provide a letter from a doctor, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner dated within the past 12 months stating that they have or, at any time in the past, had a medical condition, disability, or illness. Applicants no longer have to wait for an insurance company to send them a denial letter.

Applicants will still need to meet other eligibility criteria, including that they are U.S. citizens and that they have been without health insurance for six months. Eligibility is not based on income and people who enroll are not charged a higher premium because of their medical condition.

For more information, including eligibility, plan benefits and rates, as well as information on how to apply, visit and click on “Find Your State.” The PCIP Call Center is open from 8 am to 11 pm Eastern Time. Call toll-free 1-866-717-5826 (TTY 1-866-561-1604).


Mara Vanderslice, Acting Director
Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Featured Update

HHS Announces Affordable Insurance Available in 2014

Beginning in 2014 Americans will be able to purchase affordable health insurance through a State-based Affordable Insurance Exchange. Exchanges are State-based competitive marketplaces where individuals and small businesses will be able to purchase affordable private health insurance and have the same insurance choices as Members of Congress. Insurance companies will compete for business on a transparent, level playing field, driving down costs. Exchanges will have the same purchasing clout as big businesses and will give consumers a choice of plans to fit their needs.

An Exchange can help you:

  • Look for and compare health plans
  • Get answers to questions about health coverage options
  • Find out if you are eligible for health programs or tax credits that make coverage more affordable
  • Enroll in a health plan that meets your needs

Those with low and middle incomes can receive a tax credit to help pay for health insurance coverage. HHS took the first step in setting up these Exchanges by issuing a proposed rule on July 11 to help States create their plans.

If your state is not moving forward in setting up an Affordable Insurance Exchange, you will still be able to purchase affordable health insurance through a federally-managed Exchange. States have until 2015 to put plans in place for their State-based Exchange. Individuals and Small businesses will be able to purchase affordable health insurance through their State Exchange or federally-managed Exchange starting in January 2014.

To learn more about Exchanges, go to HHS is accepting public comment on the proposed rules through September 28th to learn from states, consumers, and other stakeholders how the rules can be improved. HHS will modify these proposals based on feedback from the American people.

Let’s Move Faith and Communities Update

Islamic Society of North America Embraces Let’s Move!

Over 30,000 people attended the Islamic Society of North America’s (ISNA’s) 48th annual convention in the Chicago area. The theme for this year’s conference was “Loving God, Loving Neighbor, Living in Harmony,” a warm and inviting spirit that was felt the moment you walked in. Attending on behalf of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),  I was excited to explore collaboration with Muslim leaders on HHS’s current initiatives, including expanding access to health care, strengthening responsible fatherhood, and the First Lady’s Let’s Move! challenges to faith-based and community organizations.

As part of the Healthy Living through Leadership and Collaboration—Let’s Move in the Muslim Community panel, I stressed the importance of community leadership resulting in healthy living and presented the Let’s Move Faith and Communities initiative.

I was joined on the panel with two extraordinary Muslim community members leading others towards health-filled and faithful lives. Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir told her personal journey as a female American Muslim athlete and the barriers she had to overcome in order to be the first NCAA Division I player to compete on the court wearing a hijab. She shared creative solutions for providing environments that would encourage physical activity among young American Muslim women for generations to come.

Dr. Altaf Kaiseruddin, Medical Director of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), Chicago, relayed two powerful responses to tackling the issues of urban food deserts. In one example, Muslim Run, community leaders are focused on building a sustainable business model for local store owners to profitably offer a wider selection of healthy food options.  In another, IMAN, the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs and Southwest Organizing Project reclaimed an abandoned house and created a community garden.

The panel provided the audience with the energy, practices and ideas necessary to take the lead on starting or helping folks move in their community, schools or congregations. Though, given my personal witness to this engaged audience-- many of them were already there!

Heidi Christensen is the Associate Director for Community Engagement at the Partnership Center at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, first NCAA Division I player to compete on the court
wearing a hijab.  Photo Courtesy: Joe Murphy

Latest News

Partnerships for the Common Good

White House Toolkit Available Online

The White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships – and the 13 federal Partnership Centers – supports and strengthens local nonprofits and faith-based groups that are doing great work across our country. From helping organizations feed hungry kids in the summer to promoting interfaith cooperation on college campuses and improving the health of local communities, we work with faith groups and nonprofits to serve people in need.

And for the first time, we’re describing much of our work in one place. We have created a new Connecting Communities for the Common Good toolkit that describes specific ways you can partner with our Center. It’s a very useful guide if you are interested in what the Partnerships office does every day and how you can get involved. Want to start a job club? Have a great fatherhood or reentry program that we need to know about? How about working with us to serve veterans, or adoptive families? Check out the toolkit for great ways to get involved!

Tweets for the Common Good 

A few weeks ago President Obama hosted the first-ever Twitter Town Hall with 140 guests at the White House and thousands more participating online. On the heels of this momentous opportunity, the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships has launched our own twitter account, @PartnersforGood.

Through this account we will keep you updated on what is happening at our 13 Partnership Centers across government. From providing support to organizations looking to provide information on how the Affordable Care Act impacts their community, to congregations interested in greening their facilities or a nonprofit group wanting to provide job training and workforce development for our nation’s veterans, the federal centers for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships are connecting you to the information you need to better serve your communities.

Our Twitter account is another resource that allows us to remain connected to you and build effective partnerships across the country.

For those of you on Twitter, please follow us @PartnersforGood

Tell your friends, neighbors and congregants to follow us as well and we’ll continue working together for the common good.

Twitter - Follow Us @PartnershipsforGood

Upcoming Events

July 22, 2011: HUD Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program Pre-Application Deadline. The deadline for homeowners to qualify for the Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program (EHLP) is rapidly approaching with all Pre-Applicant Screening Worksheets due by Friday, July 22, 2011.

The EHLP, launched by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in conjunction with NeighborWorks America in June, is designed to help homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure in 27 states across the country and Puerto Rico. The program assists homeowners who have experienced a reduction in income and are at risk of foreclosure due to involuntary unemployment or underemployment, due to economic conditions or a medical condition. Under EHLP guidelines eligible homeowners can qualify for an interest free loan which pays a portion of their monthly mortgage for up to two years, or up to $50,000, whichever comes first.

Please Click Here For More Information.

July 27: Connecting Communities for the Common Good. Invited faith and community leaders from across the state of Colorado join with the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, government officials, and diverse nonprofit peers for a series of innovative workshops, networking opportunities, and conversations with President Obama’s Partnership Centers across the federal government.

**If you are interested in attending, please email us at  Space is very limited.**

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Denver, CO

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Train-the-Trainers Workshops. CMS Presents the 2011 National Medicare Train-the-Trainer Workshop schedule. CMS will share consistent, accurate, current information with partners who help Medicare beneficiaries make the best choices for their healthcare coverage at these national events.

The 2011 National Medicare Training Program workshops will include:

  • Refresher on Medicare program
  • Basic information and detailed casework-tailored to your needs
  • Medicare training information and materials that are current, accurate, and consistent
  • Opportunity to network with CMS staff and other partners who share your commitment
  • Subject matter experts to answer your questions
  • 2011 CD Suite—with the training modules, videos, resource guide, toolkits, and more

Please click here for the 2011 workshops schedule.

Empowering America's Grassroots

Grant Opportunities

As always, the final section of our newsletter includes an updated grants listing that faith-based and community non-profits can pursue. It is important to review the funding announcement thoroughly to ensure that the grant is one that is appropriate to your organization’s mission, size, and scope.

Grants Listings

New Listing

Title:NonProfit Capacity Building Program
: Congress has recognized that many small and medium sized nonprofit organizations are significantly challenged in their ability to sustain and expand services and that organizational development assistance may be necessary to ensure the continuation of much-needed services in local communities. Grants awarded in this competition aim to build the capacity of small and midsize nonprofits to develop and implement performance management systems.
Eligibility:  This funding opportunity is open to nonprofit providers, including faith-based and community organizations.
Funding: Up to four awards, with funding from $200,000 to $998,000.
Link to Full Announcement:LINK TO FULL ANNOUNCEMENT 
Last Day to Apply: August 9, 2011 
Grant is administered by the:Corporation for National and Community Service

New Listing

Title:Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII): Promise Neighborhoods Program: Planning Grant Competition
: The Promise Neighborhoods program is carried out under the legislative authority of the Fund for Improvement of Education (FIE). FIE supports nationally significant programs to improve the quality of elementary and secondary education at the State and local levels and to help all children meet challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards. The purpose of the Promise Neighborhoods program is to significantly improve the educational and developmental outcomes of children and youth in our most distressed communities. Additional information about Promise Neighborhood Program grants can be found here.

Eligibility:  This funding opportunity is open to nonprofit providers, including faith-based and community organizations.
Funding: Up to ten awards, with funding of $500,000 each.
Link to Full Announcement:LINK TO FULL ANNOUNCEMENT 
Last Day to Apply: September 6, 2011 
Grant is administered by the:Office of Innovation and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education

Administration for Children and Families

Title:Child Welfare -- Education System Collaborations to Increase Educational Stability
Description: Build collaborations between child welfare systems and Education systems to increase the educational stability of children in or at risk of entering the child welfare system.
Eligibility: Faith-based and community organizations that meet eligibility requirements are eligible to receive awards under this funding opportunity announcement.
Link to Full Announcement:LINK TO FULL ANNOUNCEMENT
Last Day to Apply: July 26, 2011

Grant is administered by the:Administration for Children and Families


Fatherhood and Marriage Grants


Title: Pathways to Responsible Fatherhood Grants

Estimate of Awards: $52,500,000  through a estimate of 37  awards ranging from $300,000 to $2,500,000

Purpose: Support projects with organizations that have the capacity and proven track record of helping low-income fathers. Projects should be designed to develop a broad approach to overall case management and support services. Additionally, projects should be designed to help fathers build mutually supportive and long-lasting relationships with their children, the mothers of their children, and help fathers overcome barriers to economic self-sufficiency.

Applications are due by July 28, 2011

Link to Full Grant AnnouncementWebsite and to download the PDF


Title: Community-Centered Responsible Fatherhood Ex-Prisoner Reentry Pilot Project

Estimate of Awards: $6 million  through a estimate of 4 awards ranging from $1 million to $1.5 million

Purpose: Support reentry programs that provide innovative community-centered, pre- and post-release Responsible Fatherhood and supportive services to formerly incarcerated fathers. Projects will be designed to support activities that promote healthy marriage and relationships, improve parenting skills, and alleviates barriers to social and economic self-sufficiency in a manner that strengthens families, empowers formerly incarcerated fathers and reduces the likelihood of recidivism.

Applications are due by July 28, 2011

Link to Full Grant AnnouncementWebsite and to download the PDF


Title: Community-Centered Healthy Marriage and Relationship Grants

Estimate of Awards: $57 million  through a estimate of 40  awards ranging from $300,000 to $2.5 million

Purpose: Support programs that have the capacity and proven track record of providing a broad range of marriage and relationship education (MRE) and skills training to low-income populations. To address the multiple barriers faced by individuals, couples/partners, and families, projects will provide MRE skills designed to change behaviors of individuals and move families towards economic self-sufficiency. ACF is particularly interested in funding organizations that are located in the community of the targeted population, and that provide a broad array of services.

Applications are due by July 28, 2011

Link to Full Grant AnnouncementWebsite and to download the PDF


Title: National Resource Center for Strategies to Promote Healthy Marriage

Estimate of Awards: $1.5 million  through one award

Purpose: support the development, implementation, management of a National Resource Center for Marriage and Relationship Education (NRCMRE).The NRCMRE will support marriage and relationship education (MRE) program development, implementation, and integration. ACF is responsible for Federal programs that promote the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals, and communities. The NRCMRE will provide MRE information, resources, and technical assistance designed to assist in the development of a broad approach to serving families and children by incorporating MRE into already existing services.

Applications are due by July 28, 2011

Link to Full Grant AnnouncementWebsite and to download the PDF


Grants Awarded

Continuing our efforts to provide you with partnership opportunities in your community, the section below lists federal grants recently awarded to organizations in your local community. 


US Department of Labor announces $17 million in grants to prepare high-risk young adults in underserved communities for employment

The department awarded YouthBuild USA, based in Somerville, Mass., and the Mid-Atlantic Network of Youth and Family Services, based in Pittsburgh, Pa., $8.5 million each. YouthBuild USA will assist more than 550 individuals in nine high-poverty, high-crime communities. The Mid-Atlantic Network of Youth and Family Services will assist approximately 900 individuals in five such communities. The programs will operate in multiple states.

Please Click Here For More Information


US Labor Department provides $5.5 million in grants to mentor young parents

The grants cover a period of 48 months. Grantees are encouraged to serve young parents who are victims of child abuse, are homeless or have run away from home, are Native American/Indian, are migrants, have incarcerated parents, are involved with or at risk of involvement with court systems, have disabilities, and are in or aging out of foster care. They will participate in rigorous random assignment impact evaluations to assess the effectiveness of mentoring services based on numerous outcomes, including whether the individuals served are able to achieve employment.

Young Parents Demonstration Program Grants





AltaMed Health Services Corp.

Los Angeles



Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry Inc.




The Dannon Project




Training Resources of America Inc.




TOTAL = 5,500,000

Please Click Here For More Information

EPA Administrator Announces National Grants to Train Jobseekers in Green Jobs and Clean Up of Contaminated Sites

The agency’s Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Program helps provide unemployed individuals with the necessary skills to secure full time, sustainable jobs that help to clean up toxic chemicals in communities, advance the country’s clean energy projects and support environmental initiatives. Trainees include hard to place residents that live in the disadvantaged communities that will benefit the most through these projects.

Twenty-one governmental entities and nonprofit organizations in twenty states are receiving up to $300,000 each to train individuals in the cleanup of contaminated sites and in health and safety, while also providing training in other environmental skills, such as recycling center operator training, green building design, energy efficiency, weatherization, solar installation, construction and demolition debris recycling, emergency response, and native plant revegetation.

Please Click Here For More Information