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Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships

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"This work is important, because whether it's a secular group advising families facing foreclosure or faith-based groups providing job training to those who need work, few are closer to what's happening on our streets and in our neighborhoods than these organizations. People trust them. Communities rely on them. And we will help them."

-- President Barack Obama, National Prayer Breakfast, February 2009


Welcome to the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Our mission is to develop partnerships with, provide relevant information to, and expand participation of faith-based, nonprofit, and community/neighborhood organizations in VA programs in order to better serve the needs of Veterans, their families, Survivors, caregivers, and other beneficiaries.


Center for Faith-based and Neighorbood Partnerhships

In 2009, President Obama appointed a diverse Advisory Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and asked them to make recommendations for strengthening the social service partnerships the Government forms with nongovernmental providers, including strenthening the consitutional and legal footing of these partnerships.  While Council members differed on some important issues in this area, they were able to come to agreement on a number of significant recommendations.

In in response to the Advisory Council's recommendations, on November 17,2010, President Obama issued Executive Order (E.O.) 13559, Fundamental Principles and Policymaking Criteria for Partnerships with Faith-based and Other Neighborhood Organizations, which amended E.O. 13279 (December 2002), Equal Protection of the Laws for Faith-based and Community Organizations.  E.O. 13559 outlines principles and policymaking criteria to guide Federal agencies in developing policies to ensure equal protection of the laws for faith-based an other community organizations.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is now proposing to amened regulations first promulgated in 2003 implementing E.O. 3279 at 38 CFR Part 61 ("Equal Protection of Laws for Faith-based and Community Organizations") to conform with E.O. 13559.  The proposed rule is available at  Other changes required by E.O. 13559 do not require new regulations and will be made through changes in VA guidance documents, practices and communications strategies.


VA Partners with YMCA of the USA to Support Veterans

Washington D.C. - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) have refreshed and expanded their partnership to promote and enhance the health and well-being of Veterans and their families.

A new apreement will make it easier for Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Regional Offices and Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities to work with local YMCAs to ensure that Veterans are connected to needed resources and opportunties in their communities.  "Since the Civil War, the Y has been a friend to Servicemembers and Veterans--the YMCA's education scholarships were forerunners of the GI Bill," said Secretary Bob McDonald.  "I'm pleased to announce that VA and Y-USA have agreed to continue that legacy by further expanding our partnership."

In communities where VA and the Y choose to work together, the partnership connects Veterans to VA services and benefits in the areas of employment, homelessness, healthy lifestyle programming, and reintegration into the local community.

"This enhanced agreement makes it easier for local VA faccilities and YMCAs to collaborate on helping transitioning Servicemembers and Veterans connect to the resources and opportunites that they need," said McDonald.

"Our nation's Veterans, and their families, have dedicated so much in service to our country.  The Y is honored to have the opportunity to show our appreciation by doing what we do best- improving the lives of individuals in the communites we serve," said Kevin Washington, President and CEO of Y-USA.  "The are many YMCAs across the nation that are already working with VA and providing services directly to Veterans, this formal acknowledgement between the Y and VA will m ake it easier for that work to continue, expand and flourish."  VA is committed to working closely with nongovernmental organizations, such as Y-USA to identify new and innovative ways to support VA's commitment to care those who"have borne the battle" and their families.  Strengthening collborations within communities and with community-based organizations helps to achieve VA's goal of improving the lives of Veterans, servicemembers, their families, caregivers, and survivors.

While the collaboration might look different in each participating community, the mutual goals of improving the lives of Veterans and their families will remain consistent nationwide.

Go to the YMCA New Release link:



Contact Information

Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420
Phone: 202-461-7689

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