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Black America 1997

How Government Harms Charities
...and How Some Are Succeeding Anyway

Published by Project 21

501 Capitol Ct., N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002
202/543-4110 Fax 202/543-5975
[email protected]

Copyright 1997: The National Center for Public Policy Research

ABRIDGED VERSION



Introduction

In recent years many anecdotes have illustrated the burden excessive government regulations have placed on small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs, but there have rarely been any reports of the burden borne by community service organizations that find themselves caught between the competing needs of low-income communities and the demands of government bureaucrats.

This report is an abridged edition of the fourth annual report of the African-American leadership group Project 21, a report which seeks to rectify that situation.

It says much about the role of government in American society that community service organizations stand side-by-side with businesses as the subjects of government harassment. Some excuse government's interference with profit-making entities with the allegation that most business people are materialistic and inhumane. This is, of course, inaccurate, but does anyone believe that the same can be said of charities doing community service work?

This report will have the reader thinking that question silly. Instead, many may begin to ask: How humane are government rules and regulations that deter people from helping low-income communities?

Whether it be an application process for government funds that takes a hundred hours to complete, requirements that consider credentials in drug dependency counseling to be more important than a counselor's effectiveness, or a preference for metal over plastic wastebaskets, the absurdity and sheer volume of government regulations are impeding the ability of local charities to help those in need. Community service providers are becoming discouraged. They ask questions in the pages that follow that beg the obvious: Is the welfare of low-income recipients secondary to the enforcement of bureaucratic rules and regulations? Are effective results less impressive if some government bureaucrat is not convinced that all the rules and regulations were followed?

The pages that follow in this abridged report include stories about 44 community service organizations and their problems with government and 14 profiles of community service providers that are worthy of special recognition and monetary support. The full report includes 131 community service organizations and 44 profiles of community service providers. An appendix is included containing the amount of government funding and the source of regulatory problems for the groups whose stories are told in this report. The accounts of the regulatory burdens encountered are based on the testimony of directors and other staff at the community service organizations contacted. Of the 441 community service organizations that responded to our survey of approximately 1,126 community service groups, 392 indicated that they had problems with government or were afraid to apply for government funding due to fear of excessive government control of their organizations. Inconsistent testimony, insufficient detail of the problems, and dubious complaints are among the reasons some of the stories are not included in the full report.

Project 21 is issuing Black America 1997: How Government Harms Charities after over a year of painstaking research and telephone interviews. This report is the fourth in a series of annual reports by Project 21. 1996's Black America: A Time for Renewal provided a comprehensive 14-step plan for revitalizing disadvantaged communities. Black America 1995: A New Beginning contained essays by 35 of the most influential African-American conservatives on economic development, education, civil rights, empowerment opportunities provided through the Internet, health care, culture, politics, welfare reform, crime and the media. Our first annual report, Black America 1994: Changing Direction provided a radical departure from the almost exclusively liberal prescriptions of the civil rights establishment in a series of 14 hard-hitting essays on the state of black America.

Project 21 is an initiative of The National Center for Public Policy Research to promote the views of African-Americans whose entrepreneurial spirit, sense of family and commitment to individual responsibility has not traditionally been echoed by the nation's civil rights establishment. This became most obvious during the April 1992 riots in Los Angeles, when the media provided extended coverage of the reaction of liberal civil rights leaders to the events surrounding the Rodney King controversy. Curiously, the media made little mention of those in the African-American community who spoke out in favor of law and order and individual responsibility -- and against rioting.

Rather than merely complain about the lack of attention given to moderate and conservative African-Americans as typified by the coverage of the riots, The National Center for Public Policy Research convened a meeting of conservative and moderate African-American activists in mid-1992 to determine whether it was feasible to construct a program to bring conservative and moderate voices in the community to the attention of the media. The answer was yes, and Project 21 was born.

Project 21 has enjoyed enormous success. Project 21 participants have been interviewed by hundreds of newspapers, talk radio shows and television programs throughout the country. Participants are regularly featured on such programs as CNN Morning News, C-SPAN's Morning Journal, Rush Limbaugh, the Michael Reagan Show, CBS's Gil Gross Show, Larry King, The McLaughlin Group, Black Entertainment Television's Our Voices, America's Black Forum and CNN & Company as well as in newspapers such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Detroit News, The Cleveland Plain-Dealer, and many newspapers and talk shows. Project 21 has emerged as a leading voice for a new generation of African-American leadership.

Black America 1997: How Government Harms Charities hopes to illustrate, and thereby help to correct, a sometimes crushing problem faced by too many of the often-selfless people who seek to serve America's disadvantaged communities. It also seeks to introduce the reader to work of many organizations who deserve our thanks -- and our support.

Project 21 thanks the many Project 21 staff members who made Black America 1997: How Government Harms Charities possible: Arturo Silva, who directed the entire project and edited the final report, and researchers Telly Lovelace, Anne Singer, Paul Teller and Michael Session.

 


 

Table of Contents

Introduction

Regulatory Problems

Americans With Disabilities Act
Davis-Bacon and Minimum Wage Labor Law
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Department of Labor
Environmental Regulations
Government Against Religion
Government Micromanagement
Inconsistent Regulations
Job Training Partnership Act
Local Interference By Government
State Regulations
Time-Consuming Regulatory Process

Glory Stories

Community Service Organizations You Should Know About

Appendix (Not Included in Online Edition)

Table 1: Sources of Organization Funding
Table 2: Sources of Regulations




Americans With Disabilities Act

 

Americans With Disabilities Act Could Cost Academy $500,000 for Elevator

The De Le Salle Academy is a New York City school for low-income, academically-talented students in grades 6, 7 and 8. No student is denied admission because of financial need.

Brother Brian Carty, founder and principal of the academy, said his main regulatory problem involves the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Academy uses rented space. Thus, if they want to renovate their facilities at all, the ADA will apply. The academy would be forced to put in ramps and an elevator, for example. "But in New York, it can cost upwards of $500,000 to install an elevator. This is just too expensive," said Carty. "The money is just not there! As a result, we can not renovate to expand their program offerings or the work space for current programs," added Carty.

Brother Carty also cited problems with state attempts at regulating private schools. "These regulatory attempts which include efforts to control the curriculum of private schools are too severe. De La Salle would have to buy into the political agendas of the state education czars, and this is simply unacceptable," asserted Brother Carty. Carty added that there are so many regulations that they usually only find out about a regulation after they've been cited for violating them.

 

Davis-Bacon and Minimum Wage Labor Laws

 

Davis-Bacon Law Raises Construction Costs of Low-Income Housing While Government Sets Up A Catch 22

Impact Services Corporation of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, provides employment and training to poor people with the objective of eventually placing them in the private sector. They are also involved in comprehensive community development, with particular focus on low-income housing.

John McDonnell, executive director, said "There are so many rules and regulations that exist." McDonnell stressed the impact of the Davis-Bacon Act on their construction operations. "The Davis-Bacon Act mandates that firms like Impact pay 'prevailing wages' on construction projects," said McDonnell. "Well, this requirement often makes projects too expensive for us. Plus, it becomes harder just to bid for jobs. Impact is thus often pushed out of competition," added McDonnell.

McDonnell also had concerns with worker's compensation. "Workers compensation ran between 60 and 100 dollars per payroll. This was just too much money. It has even led to us eliminating our entire demolition business," said McDonnell.

McDonnell's third complaint about government regulations involved a low-income housing project for homeless veterans that Impact already manages. Even though Impact already manages the project, the federal government required that they get special certification to run the establishment. But part of getting certification is having long experience in running such establishments. Thus, the government set up a Catch-22. Impact needs certification to continue running the homeless veterans' shelter, but it cannot get certification unless it has experience in running such housing projects. This is crazy, McDonnell said. In order to magically obtain the necessary experience, Impact is forced to seek outside consulting assistance from organizations who have long-term experience in running these housing operations, even though Impact has already been managing the project and certainly needs no outside advice in doing so. But it's hard to get outside consulting help from another firm because other firms do not want to train a competitor and help it become certified! So, Impact has to "kiss somebody's... to get us to be certified. The whole process is ridiculous," proclaimed McDonnell.

 

Davis Bacon Act Hinders Economic Development

The Southwest Detroit Business Association is a community development corporation that supports local small businesses that serve the community and larger businesses that employ workers in the area. They also support real estate development to improve the area.

Kathy Wendler, executive director of the Southwest Detroit Business Association, says the Davis Bacon Act has a major impact on their community service efforts. "The Davis-Bacon Act sets wage guidelines requiring [businesses] to pay union scale wages for construction contracts over $2000, an amount set in 1934. That amount is too small for today's jobs, and is too costly for many organizations like ours that support community development projects," says Wendler. "This is a nationwide regulatory issue that no one wants to approach because they will look anti-union. We also have problems with the turn-around time for receiving money awarded in a contract," added Wendler. "We still have not received money from a contract awarded in July 1995. We have had to take out loans to compensate for the delay in receiving money," said Wendler.

 

New York State Demands Group Pay Interns More

The Congress Of Racial Equality's (CORE) aim is to bring about equality for all people regardless of race, creed, sex, age, disability, religion, and ethnicity. In assuring its aim, CORE identifies and exposes acts of such discrimination in society.

Roy Innis, national spokesman for CORE, noted that the New York State Department of Employment investigated CORE's payment of interns. The state Department of Employment informed CORE that it would have to terminate its intern program or pay interns the minimum wage. CORE decided to end its intern program.

 

Minimum Wage Requirements Add to Group's Costs

The Mendenhall Ministries, Inc.'s mission is to develop people and ministries in Mendenhall, Mississippi, to meet the spiritual and physical needs of the whole person, both physically and spiritually. Locally, it serves the needs of low-income persons for health care, education, food and clothing, legal aid, recreation, housing, leadership training and other assistance.

Shelby Smith, executive vice president, said that "minimum wage requirements are a problem." In addition, "W-2 forms are a pain. We must pay kids who help with Vacation Bible School the minimum wage."

 

Department of Housing and Urban Development

 

HUD Environmental Review Regulations Create Delays

The West Angeles Church of Los Angeles, California, builds affordable housing, helps neighborhood businesses, provides job and community services for local residents, and teaches non-violence in schools in south Los Angeles.

According to Paul Turner, Community Relations Director, the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) environmental review regulations outstripped the capacity of HUD's own field office in Los Angeles, creating a 9-month delay in one of their local affordable housing projects and in funding from a HUD start-up grant.

Turner also added that the Los Angeles Housing Authority declined to give the Church leads to earthquake-displaced tenants so the church could provide relocation assistance into permanent housing. This was because the Church was funded for relocation assistance services by the City's Community Development Department (CDD), and the Housing Authority felt CDD's was operating outside its jurisdiction in this regard. The result was that displaced tenants could not be helped.

 

Illogical HUD Regulation Wastes Government Money

The Hispanic Housing Development Corporation, in Chicago, IL, provides assistance to Hispanics needing low-income housing in the City of Chicago. Through its provision of affordable housing and commercial development, the Corporation seeks to physically stabilize neighborhoods and provide jobs.

Certain federal housing regulations cause many of the problems that the Hispanic Housing Development Corporation faces, says Paul Roldan. "For example, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations for the elderly housing program, Program 202, forbid a for-profit firm affiliated with a non-profit housing corporation from actually constructing the housing. In this case, the Hispanic Housing Development Corporation (HHDC) is non-profit but has a for-profit affiliate called Tropic Housing. HUD forbids Tropic from doing the construction for HHDC projects. This was the case even after Tropic offered to do certain projects at cost. HHDC wants Tropic to do its construction because of the ease of dealing with an affiliate as opposed to an outside contractor and the fact that Tropic maintains a 68 percent minority, community-based workforce -- a much higher percentage than any outside contractor. Thus, even though HHDC has its own for-profit construction company, it has had to hire an outside contractor from a government-selected list and at higher prices. That to me is nuts," declared Roldan.

"In addition, HUD's HOME Program has similar restrictions where a non-profit cannot use its affiliated for-profit firm to do housing construction for the poor." Again, HHDC had to go through the federal government and contract out work at higher prices for unnecessary reasons. Roldan was unable to give an estimate for the extra costs.

Contracting out means fewer workers from the local community and less control for HHDC on the construction projects as they unfold. Further, because HHDC has to go through the government for its contractors, the turn-around time is much longer, as much as 12-15 months as opposed to the 6 months of Tropic. "Getting a contractor becomes a logistical nightmare. The bureaucracy defeats the intentions of providing affordable housing quickly to those most in need," asserted Roldan.

 

Department of Labor

 

Neighborhood Group Stymied By Department of Labor

The National Association of Neighborhoods (NAN), in Washington, D.C., works with hundreds of neighborhood groups from across the country and provides information, training and technical assistance to neighborhood groups nationwide.

 

Ricardo Byrd, executive director of the National Association of Neighborhoods, says the Department of Transportation gives NAN funding, but imposes Regulation 13 on them: "Regulation 13 requires all of our neighborhood transportation services programs to be approved by the Department of Labor, which is influenced by labor unions. This regulation has prevented us from setting up some of our own programs."

 

Environmental Regulations

 

Environmental Regulations Hinder Real Estate Development

The East Los Angeles Community Union is a community development corporation (CDC) which concentrates on financial services, real estate development (commercial and residential) and construction. The Union is a non-profit corporation which maintains for-profit subsidiaries. These for-profit subsidiaries upstream funds to non-profit and to various social service programs in the area of East Los Angeles.

Jose Villalobos, senior vice-president of the Union, said he has regulatory problems with government. On the other hand, Mr. Villalobos did stress that despite his complaints, government can at times be a very positive force (usually by way of granting legitimacy to a project in the eyes of private investors).

Villalobos's first set of complaints involve environmental regulations for real estate development. "Federal and city environmental regulations add costs and risks to any development project," said Villalobos. "Because of the layers of regulations, it could take up to five years in Los Angeles to even begin construction on a development project. That is, it could take up to five years to get all the necessary building permits, fill out all the necessary paperwork, undergo environmental assessments, conduct necessary environmental clean-ups, endure the long review process by the city, pay all the required fees, and hold community meetings to allow all possible opposition to the project to be voiced," stressed Villalobos. "All of this could add 30 percent to the cost of a project, make projects less viable or totally non-viable, and scare away investors from the private sector. Mr. Villalobos indicated that it is not unusual for the Union to walk away from projects solely because of the costs of complying with environmental regulations."

Villalobos's other complaints surround the Union's lending operations and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) regulations. He argues that new laws designed to protect against financial abuse actually serve to limit the Union's ability to choose who to lend to. "That is, the FDIC basically forbids 'character loans,' or loans that are made to individuals based on the Union's perception of their character because of their local community standing or other financial evidence of trustworthiness, not on any 'objective' record of individuals' credit histories. Because of this elimination of 'character loans,' our lending to community leaders has dropped 30%," said Villalobos. Thus, despite the Union's 28-year history of proven success, the government does not allow the Union to make its own character judgments as to who is loan worthy, noted Villalobos. Villalobos concluded by saying that his organization is "definitely impacted by government regulations in all [its] activities."

 

Housing Opportunities for Poor Reduced by Environmental Regulation

The mission of the Harlingen Community Development Corporation, in Harlingen, Texas, is to assist low and moderate-income families obtain housing opportunities. It specifically assists with loan attainment, inspections, construction, etc.

Fred Huerta, executive director of Harlingen Community Development Corporation, noted problems with excessive environmental policy requirements, especially those concerning lead abatement. Because of environmental policy, Community Development Corporations (CDC) must spend money on lead paint abatement which adds cost to rehabilitation, according to Huerta.

Government-mandated reports and other burdensome paperwork holds it back from actual program implementation. Plus, Harlingen spends numerous hours trying to comply with all the regulations.

 

Economic Development Hindered By Environmental Clean-Up Costs

Economic Resources Corporation (ERC) is a nonprofit organization which promotes jobs and economic development in the Watts section of Los Angeles, California. ERC was created in the aftermath of the Watts riots.

Dutch Ross, president and chief executive officer of ERC, had several problems with government regulations. Ross cited two specific cases.

The first surrounded the environmental impact studies that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates before a site can be developed or rehabilitated. "These studies and the resulting clean-ups are extremely costly," according to Ross. "The cheapest environmental impact study and clean-up is $5000, but the most expensive ones can go as high as millions of dollars, usually in cases involving the removal of hydrocarbons and petrochemicals. Many times these high costs are prohibitive; the land remains fallow and the community remains that much less developed," said Ross.

Ross's second illustration is the high and variable costs of permit fees for buildings. It is very difficult to keep tabs on the different permit fees for different parts of the city. "A project on one side of the street may not be as economical if that same project were done on the other side of the same street," said Ross. This variability makes it hard to assess the feasibility of developing projects and hard to make slight changes in project plans.

 

Church Finds Wetland Designation Is Heavy Burden to Bear

The US Army Corps of Engineers had a special message for one Maryland church: "Pass the collection plate." The Baptist church purchased three acres of land in southern Maryland in early 1989 for $155,000 for new construction. But later in the year, the Corps of Engineers declared part of the land a wetland, requiring the church to spend an additional $45,000 for an adjacent lot. This new congregation, which cannot even afford the salary for a full time pastor, is finding the government's demand a heavy burden to bear.

 

Environmental Laws Enforced As One Size Fits All

Can Do is a coalition of industrial revitalizers and overall economic developers in the Chicago area. It concentrates on retail and commercial development outside the downtown area.

"Environmental clean-up laws often scare away private developers," said Martin Berg, director of communications and neighborhood development. "There's little differentiation in the laws between very dirty sites and sites which just need a relatively small amount of clean-up."

 

Government Against Religion

Children Volunteers Too Religious for City of Dallas

Norman Henry, executive director of Voice of Hope Ministries in Dallas, Texas, organized a group of teenagers to clean up some of the run-down lots in the area. The city of Dallas usually pays $200 per lot for its city workers to do the cleanup. Voice of Hope Ministries wrote a proposal to the city for their youth to clean it up for $55, a $145 savings for the city. The city said that the children would have to be insured. Voice of Hope complied with their request. However, the city then refused to hire Voice of Hope because of the group's expressed Christian values. The city did not want to hire the group since Voice of Hope would not comply with their religious affiliation regulation.

The mission of Voice of Hope is to assist young people in overcoming poverty through educational and employment programs, a summer day camp and leadership training classes. Voice of Hope Ministries also attempts to involve the family in the process.

Two years ago, Voice of Hope applied for government funding, but it was informed that it would have to sign an agreement saying that Voice of Hope would not preach a religious message.

Voice of Hope also requires its employees to be Christian, which the government would not accept. If Voice of Hope accepted the funds, it would not be allowed to preach its members' faith, which is the basis of the group. "Whenever the government sees a religious association they do not look at the work they are doing, but see them as a church," said Henry. "The political process is against anything to do with morals," Henry added.

 

Michigan Objects to Pictures of Jesus

Highland Park Community Outreach of Highland Park, Michigan, is a Christian-based organization designed to provide the services necessary to make people independent and productive in all aspects of their lives -- education, family, housing, employment, etc.

Highland Park applied for state funding of a summer youth employment program in which youths were hired to work with a local organization. However, state regulations said that Highland Park Community Outreach could not have pictures of Jesus or Bible verses on the walls of their building, and, therefore, they were deemed ineligible to receive the funding.

 

Union Gospel Mission Told Prayer Before Dinner Is Not Acceptable

Union Gospel Mission of Duluth, Minnesota, provides food, shelter and hope to the area's poor. Union Gospel operates a large meal program, long-term housing, counseling by pastors, prayer meetings and Bible studies.

According to Durbin Keeney, director of development, Union Gospel Mission has run into many regulations, both with religion and food service. "For example, we can not have prayer before dinner, or offer church services before dinner, since we receive government money and food... In addition, we have to use plastic pallets that have been approved for food storage, as opposed to the wooden pallets that we were using. However, the organization next door is allowed to use wooden pallets," added Keeney.

Union Gospel Mission received a citation for its salad bar because they used ice instead of a coolant, which would have cost it an additional $2,700. Union Gospel was not made aware of this new regulation, but was still cited. In addition, regulations also required Union Gospel to purchase a certain microwave oven when their old one broke. Instead of replacing it with a new model with the same power, the group was forced to replace it with a new microwave with less power than the old microwave.

 

Elevator Is No Place for Religion, Government Regulates

John 3:16 Mission has been helping the poor and homeless in Tulsa since 1952. The Mission has ministries to families, youth, children and other people in need. The Mission is best known for sheltering homeless men. The Mission has two shelters totaling seventy-two beds: the Overnight Shelter and the Men's Program.

"When we began a two million dollar project of renovating a building that had been vacant for 17 years to help the homeless and people on welfare, we talked to the block grant people," said Mr. Philip Dickinson, executive director of the mission. "We understand you cannot use government money for religious programs, and agree with that. We asked for money to install an elevator. We were told that we would have to guarantee that no person would ever use the elevator to go to a religious service, for example, Bible Study, a prayer meeting or whatever," Dickinson noted. "We would have to make them use the stairs. If 20 years from now an atheist used the elevator to get to the second floor, and someone shared with him how to become a Born Again Christian and receive the gift of eternal life, we would have to pay back the government every penny they had given us to install the elevator," Dickinson concluded.

 

Religious People Told To Keep Away From Workers

The goal of the York Union Rescue Mission of York, Pennsylvania, is to maintain a non-sectarian organization for the advancement of the kingdom of God through the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Mission does missionary, relief, and rescue work of all kinds in York and surrounding areas, and such other places that the Board of Directors may deem advisable.

According to Reverend Paul Gorog, executive director of the Mission, "When you receive money from the government, the religious programs are restricted regarding the use of Bible verses and conducting Bible studies or Christian education. About fifteen years ago, the mission received $22,000 from local government to help transients and to renovate their facilities. We were told that we could spend what we needed and return the remainder. We spent $19,000 and returned $3,000. There was dissatisfaction because we didn't spend all of the money."

Gorog continued, "About ten or so years ago, six young men were working on government 'on- the-Job-Training' at our Lighthouse Youth Center. We were told we had to discontinue displaying religious materials and the conducting of Christian education classes in the area where the six young men worked. We discontinued the 'on the job training.'"

 

Government Micromanagement

 

D.C. Government Sets Unreasonable Rent Control Ceiling

Jubilee Housing of Washington, D.C. renovates run-down buildings and offers rental housing to low-income families and individuals. It is a private-market competitor with HUD.

Peter Antoci, director of Jubilee Housing, said that he really encounters no problems with federal housing regulations mainly because Jubilee receives no federal, and for that matter, no government funds. "However, we do have trouble with the District of Columbia rent control regulations. They're totally unintelligible," proclaimed Antoci. "And interestingly, even though Jubilee always charges below the rent-control ceiling, for example we charge $290, which is 38% of market value for Adams Morgan and about half of the $560 D.C. rent ceiling for low-income housing, Jubilee still falls under the regulations of D.C. rent control," proclaimed Antoci.

"In addition, Jubilee is not permitted to raise a person's rent as little as 5% -- and certainly not up to the D.C. rent ceiling. We can only raise their rent by the same percentage or less that the D.C. government raises its rent ceiling every year," added Antoci. "If we seek to raise a person's rent just 5% [we can't], even though that would put the person's rent at way below both market value and the D.C. rent ceiling!"

 

Housing Regulations Crowd Drug Rehab Center

The Community Agencies Corporation (CAC) of Newark, New Jersey, is a community service management corporation which coordinates the delivery of all kinds of services to families and children. It especially focuses on family services, educational programs and programs for at-risk youth.

Dorothy Knauer, deputy executive director of CAC, noted that her organization seems to have internalized many of the government regulations. "We've just adjusted to codes," proclaimed Knauer.

Knauer noted that at the local and state level housing regulations can be very costly and damaging to CAC's service provision. For example, CAC sought to convert an old apartment building into a drug rehabilitation center. But because the building was only equipped with an external fire escape and not enough secondary internal exits and because it would have taken too much money to build new internal exits and remove the external fire escape, CAC could only use the bottom two floors of the building for drug rehab, leaving the top few floors empty and the bottom two floors more crowded. Interestingly, Knauer said that government is not as much of a barrier to her organization's service provision than the unions and the insurance companies.

 

Government Cracks Down on Group That Saves Money

Doll League, Inc. of Englewood, New Jersey, is made up of civic-minded black women who distribute dolls and other toys to children in schools, orphanages, hospitals and day-care centers. In addition, it works to improve the quality of life for disadvantaged children and young adults through programs in health care, education and the arts.

According to Barbara Marsan, president of the Doll League, Inc., the most significant regulation prevents them from keeping too much money in its bank account due to its status as a charity. If the account exceeds the allowable limit, the government cracks down. Government then forces Doll League, Inc. to get rid of the excess money.

Mrs. Marsan gave two examples: Doll League, Inc. had raised money for a kidney machine for a local hospital, but it could not keep that much money in its account. Thus, the organization had to purchase the machine, store it, and deliver it themselves to the hospital. In another case, the group had raised money for a girl's scholarship fund but did not want to distribute it to her all at once based on past experience. But again, Doll League, Inc. could not keep that money around in its accounts. So, it was forced to put the money in a Certificate of Deposit (CD), which is harder to access. "Government touches all," concluded Marsan.

 

Government Regulations Discourage Hiring Community-Based Companies

Hunting Park Community Development Corporation, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is concerned with community economic development such as housing development and rehabilitation. It's also involved in at-risk youth mentoring and job placement services.

Steven Sonntag of Hunting Park Community Development Corporation has several complaints with government regulations. His main problem involves government (federal and city) restrictions on who Hunting Park can contract with in rehabilitating houses. It is only allowed to contract with firms which have a certain level of assets, a certain level of employees, and large insurance policies. Because these qualities are often lacking in smaller, local, community-based companies, Hunting Park frequently is forced to contract out to larger firms from outside the community and often pay more to do so. Mr. Sonntag also cited problems with city energy efficiency requirements. Heaters, chimneys, and insulation have to operate at certain (new) minimum levels of efficiency. These requirements can add 10-20% to the total mechanical costs of rehabilitation of a given project.

 

Government Protects Troublemakers From Eviction

Delta Housing Development Corporation is concerned with improving housing conditions for the residents of its area. Formed in the wake of a devastating tornado 25 years ago, Delta Housing particularly focuses on housing low-income farm workers and elderly persons in the Mississippi Delta.

Clanton Beamon, executive director of Delta, acknowledged that some measure of government oversight is acceptable given that it receives most of its operating funds from the federal government. Still, Beamon did mention certain regulations which are bothersome to him and his organization. For example, there's "too much intervention" in management decisions on apartment units operated by Delta. Delta cannot, for example, kick out people who it considers to be trouble makers. The standard for troublemaking is set in Washington, D.C. If someone is making trouble in one of Delta's apartment complexes in Mississippi, Delta is powerless to do anything about it.

In addition, Beamon complained about federal restrictions on where Delta can build housing. That is, Delta is not permitted to build in the flood plain, even if there is nowhere else to build a certain project. Often, these off-limits areas set by the government have never flooded or have not flooded in a generation. Because of these building restrictions, projects can become more expensive and people can remain homeless or live in horrendous housing for longer periods of time. Sometimes, though, the off-limits areas are legitimate and protect future residents against flood damage and trauma.

Lastly, Beamon mentioned that he finds it a nuisance that Delta must seek approval from Rural Housing Services, an agency of the federal Department of Agriculture, in order to make subdivisions out of pre-existing housing.

 

Group Told Where to Hire Its Employees

The Black Economic Union of Ohio is concerned with housing and economic development mainly for minorities in Cleveland.

Bryson complained about the federal grant process. "Being a 501 (c) 3 organization was not enough to qualify the Union for federal funds. The federal government mandates that housing development organizations employ x-number of people from the local community. Thus, the Union had to spin off subsidiaries under the umbrella of the Union in order to then qualify for federal grant money."

 

Government Treats All Local Communities the Same

Action for Bridgeport Community Development (ABCD) assists people of Bridgeport, Connecticut, and the surrounding towns with child-care, job-training and housing. ABCD looks to promote self-sufficiency and self-reliance.

"Government guidelines are too restrictive," said Charles Tisdale, executive director of ABCD. Tisdale's main complaint is that government exhibits no flexibility in dealing with local communities. "It tries to implement one-size-fits-all solutions. Government frequently makes decisions about situations in local communities about which it has no first-hand knowledge."

 

Inconsistent Regulations

Government's Conflicting, Confusing Regulations Hard to Follow

The American Indian, Education, Training and Employment Center of Garden Grove, California, provides job training, educational services, family services, seniors programs, and other social services for American Indians.

John Castillo, executive director of the Center, complains of conflicting and damaging regulations at all levels of government. "For example, the state of California will not allow us to charge what the federal government says its OK to charge for social services. That is, the federal government allows us to charge 25 percent 'of wage and fringe,' but California says we can only charge 20 percent. Thus, these layers of regulations are conflicting and confusing."

Yet another example is the state's prohibition of charging full price for job training done off site. Thus, to continue to help off-site participants, the Center would have to spend an extra $15,000 to $20,000 per year, a cost which usually prevents them from helping these off-site participants.

 

Lack of Coordination Between City and State Mean A Long Wait For Funds

The mission of REACH, in Detroit, Michigan, is to promote positive community change in neighborhoods by using the residents as catalysts. Organizational goals include developing affordable housing, increasing opportunities for home ownership, revitalizing the community commercial areas, stabilizing and developing the neighborhood economic base, and nurturing the leadership skills of residents.

"Regulation of Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) programs makes programs even more complex to administer," said Pamela Martin Turner, executive director of REACH. "The local city home program process for disbursement is too long and inflexible. There is no coordination between state and city government. The city government requires title on property before signing on to disburse funds. State funding is dependent on the city signing on. The city is waiting for the state and the state is waiting for the city," said Turner.

 

Job Training Partnership Act

Three Week Training Program Stretched to Three Months of Paperwork

Bobby Ogburn, executive director of the Evansville, Indiana, Black Coalition Recruitment and Training Program pointed out that from the time when an applicant walks in the door to when they can be referred for a job can be as long as three months because of regulations put forth by the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA). Ogburn noted that the Coalition could give basic job training in just three weeks, and employers have told Mr. Ogburn that the three-week basic training is quite acceptable because the employers will conduct more extensive training necessary for their specific jobs. And the three-week period is quite acceptable to the applicants. "They realize it is helpful to them and necessary for starting new work, or work for the first time," said Ogburn. "But the JTPA paperwork requirements [require] reams of paper [and] testing requirements [which are] acceptable for the most part but often on things which are not necessary for the jobs for which applicants apply, and extensive background checks including verification of education, residency, citizenship, past employment, past income to name a few," added Ogburn. "All these requirements extend the training process to three months -- and this is all before the Coalition does its own job training for each applicant. The three-month process discourages people from applying and certainly forces people to drop out mid-way through the training process," added Ogburn.

In fact, Mr. Ogburn reported a 50 percent mortality rate for people who start the job training process with the Coalition. "People just say 'the heck with it' because they need jobs now, not in three months. They have rents to pay, children to feed, and bills to take care of. They can't wait three months for a job. These are people who want to work and who may even have certain basic skills. But the federal regulations encourage them not to continue with job training. They either look for a job on their own, and often don't get it or simply remained unskilled, or remain unemployed and live off the government," notes Ogburn. "This makes the JTPA program self-defeating; people who want to work should not be discouraged from doing so by a set of federal regulations," added Ogburn.

The Evansville Black Coalition Recruitment and Training Program is concerned with the economic status of the area's black community. They focus on job training, educational training, and economic development.

 

More Pages Required From JTPA Applicants Than Ivy League Applicants

Jobs for Youth of Chicago helps young blacks, with little or no work experience, through vocational counseling, job placement, and educational services.

John D. Connelly, executive director of Jobs for Youth, noted the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) requires 37 pages of forms to enroll one child. Connelly added that Ivy league college applications require only eight pages.

 

JTPA Benefits Distributed Unfairly

HELP (Home, Education, and Livelihood Program) provides a variety of community development services to aid Hispanic residents of New Mexico. HELP focuses on employment training, literacy programs, at-risk youth programs, and food programs for farmworkers, both migrant and non-migrant.

The first complaint of Gene Ortego, executive director of HELP, involved the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), which limits the people they can help, he claimed. "Many of the criteria associated with the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) serve to be quite restrictive. For example, HELP runs a migrant Head Start program. In the same fields, there could be migrant farmworkers working alongside non-migrant farmworkers. But HELP is not allowed to service the children of the seasonal, local farmworkers because they don't migrate. So, a non-migrant farmworker who does the same work next to a migrant farmworker will always be asking why he's not eligible for the same services that his co-worker is, who may be better off financially."

 

Local Interference By Government

 

More Government Means Less Common Sense

The Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation is involved in economic development (zoning, financial packaging, contracting, site development, etc.) throughout the Bronx.

When Kevin Nunn, president of Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, was asked about his problems with government, he said he had numerous stories. "That's an hour conversation! I mean, that's a dissertation," said Nunn.

Overall, Nunn said that city government regulations slow things down and often the outcomes are unrelated to the original purpose of the regulations. "The case of procurement serves as a good example," said Nunn. "If a store owner wants to buy an adjacent 2500-square-foot, city-owned, vacant lot, regulations prohibit a normal sale to the store owner." Nunn continued, "Thus the lot has to be auctioned. This gives the adjacent store owner, who has more intense interest in the lot, a marked disadvantage in obtaining the lot. Before a lot can be developed, it must pass an environmental assessment test, including a traffic patterns review for larger sites," said Nunn. Nunn noted the environmental assessment can take up to eight months and cost upwards of several hundred-thousand dollars. "Even the cheapest ones are $100,000 on smaller lots which require clean-up," said Nunn.

"After the environmental assessment, a one-year process of applying for city permits begins," added Nunn. "There are hearings and reviews with different executive agencies within city government and there may be zoning research and variances costing upwards of $20,000," said Nunn. Nunn continued, "there are application forms and other tedious procedures."

Nunn concluded, "Basically, the city brings its own economic development to a stand-still." Nunn indicated that the city's development process is so slow that if someone needs land quickly: "Go private," emphasized Nunn. "Don't deal with the government!"

 

Wooden Playgrounds v. Metal Playgrounds

The mission of Youth Services of America of Washington, D.C. is to provide youths with opportunities to participate in community or national service. Youth Services of America works with youth service organizations by providing training and technical assistance to make them more effective.

"The city of Washington, by law, does not allow the construction of wooden playgrounds on city property," said Jeff Hough, director of development at Youth Services of America. "The District of Columbia does not want to maintain maintenance. However, in Prince George's County, Maryland, the county tore down the wooden playground and constructed a metal one which cost twice the amount of the wooden one, and was only half the size," proclaimed Hough.

"President Clinton's Corporation for National Service has led a lot of community service groups into dependency on government," added Hough. "They have now learned that government funding is not a long-term commitment."

 

Houston Regulates Feeding Children

The mission of Kid-Care is to end hunger among children in the Houston area by feeding them and trying to alter the circumstances that lead to hunger by providing nutrition classes, health seminars, cultural activities and other development programs.

Carol Porter, executive director of Kid-Care, cited many problems with government regulations. The city Health Department threatened to shut down her community service operation because of what they claimed were unsanitary conditions like a separate mop sink in the kitchen or the lack of a ventilated hood on her kitchen stove. Health officials in Houston said they feared an outbreak of disease. "Are you going to tell me that it's better for them to eat garbage-can cuisine than out of my kitchen?" said Porter. "They said there were roaches. This is Houston, the Humidity City, USA! Everybody has roaches," proclaimed Porter. In addition, she said her organization is held to the same sanitary standards as a restaurant despite the fact that she runs a non-profit organization that feeds the poor.

 

D.C. Brings Frivolous Lawsuit Costing Sarah House Valuable Time

Sarah House of Washington, D.C. seeks to enrich the lives of children and families living in extremely adverse conditions. Sarah House programs give children and their families precious opportunities to reconnect and rebuild, to develop self-esteem and hope, to discover special talents and to take a break from the stressful financial and emotional challenges defining their lives and just be a family.

"We are defending a lawsuit in which the city government seeks to disavow an agreement giving us the use of a vacant government building," said Jennifer Lyons, co-founder of Sarah House in Washington. "While we have pro bono legal counsel, we have spent up to 200 person-hours/week on litigation support -- a substantial burden on a full-time staff of five."

 

Government Finds Eating on Benches Too Risky

The Southern Queens Park Association, Inc. (SQPA) is an environmental organization operating a 54-acre park and providing social services to thousands of people in the impoverished area of South Jamaica, Queens. Programs include after-school education, counseling, vegetable gardening and community clean-ups.

According to Solomon Goodrich, the executive director, SQPA prefers to settle disputes that occur between kids in its programs instead of handing them over to the police. Obviously, in serious cases, SQPA contacts the police, but the city wants to be called every time there is a dispute. So far, the only consequence of SQPA not calling the police has been loud, verbal exchanges with city authorities.

The City Department of Health Services requires that all of the children have to eat at tables. However, SQPA works with 500 kids per day and there are not enough tables for all of them, so the children sit on the benches or on the grass in the park. Children are required to eat at tables when a health inspector is expected. As a consequence, many of the children complain because not all of them can eat at once due to a lack of table space.

The day camp is funded by the local Department of Youth Services (with the federal Department of Labor) which requires that the SQPA offer its services for free, even though some of the families are able to pay. SQPA would like to be able to minimally charge some of those families that can pay to help defer some of the costs (like administration) that aren't covered.

 

French-Style Hotel Meets American Style Bureaucracy

Claude Lambert, a French immigrant, came to America seeking opportunity. So he worked hard for more than twelve years, saved his money and bought the 58-room Cornell Hotel in downtown San Francisco. He invested more than $1 million to restore the old building to resemble a French-style hotel. Claude Lambert's American Dream was to make a living by serving a few of the many tourists that visit San Francisco every year. But city bureaucrats had other ideas. Under a new ordinance, Lambert was required to set aside more than half of his hotel rooms for the homeless -- or else pay $15,000 per room for failing to comply.

 

State Regulations

Texas Chooses Metal Over Plastic

Teen Challenge of San Antonio, Texas, applied for state funding. However they received a negative review from state inspectors for using plastic waste baskets because state regulations require metal trash cans.

For more than 28 years, Teen Challenge's mission has been to provide spiritual, educational and financial help to teens addicted to drugs or alcohol with the long-range goal of preparing teenagers to return to society and become productive and responsible members.

 

Arizona Fingerprints Volunteers

The mission of Nosotros, Inc. of Arizona is to improve the quality of life of the barrio and elsewhere through advocacy and services to clients. Nosotros provides transitional and emergency shelter and prevention programs for substance abuse and domestic violence. In addition, it operates a day care center and senior citizen program and a prevention and intervention program for at-risk youths.

According to its executive director, Frank Romero, Nosotros can only have volunteers on a limited basis because of the Arizona Department of Public Safety's requirements for volunteers who work with the children. Department of Public Safety requires fingerprinting and certification of the education level of all volunteers. The approval process can take anywhere from six to eight weeks and cost Nosotros $35 each, inhibiting Nosotros from taking full advantage of using volunteers.

 

Children Denied Thanksgiving Dinner Due To Absurd Rule

The Institute for Children, Incorporated (IFC) is a private, charitable, nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to reshape foster care and adoption in America so that every child will have the chance to grow up in a loving, permanent family. The Institute is achieving its mission by initiating lasting policy reform. The Institute conducts research and advises governors, Members of Congress, other policymakers and opinion leaders on what they can and must do for American's most vulnerable children.

"Central to the IFC's mission is reshaping state and federal regulations and reversing incentives that reward states for preventing foster children from leaving the system to safe, loving, permanent homes," said Conna Craig, president of the Institute for Children.

Though the Institute primarily works on the policy level, a specific community service proposal that was stymied by state regulations was noted. Several years ago, during Thanksgiving, a friend of the Institute offered his home as a place for dinner for children with no place to go. After securing commitments from several area chefs, and ensuring insurance would cover any possible incident related to the dinner, the Institute approached group homes to find out if there were children with no place to go on Thanksgiving, traditionally a "family holiday." The Institute was promptly informed that because the home at which the dinner would be held was five minutes over the border of New Hampshire, it would be impossible to hold it, as children in state custody could not be taken across state lines.

 

Homeless Kicked Out On Streets After State Rule Puts Them There

The Union Gospel Mission in Portland, Oregon, found a great way to help the homeless: it dedicated a portion of its facility to serve as an overnight clinic for those recently released from hospital care. With relapses common for those homeless with physical and mental problems due to the harsh conditions on the street, the Mission thought that providing a little extra care would go a long way towards rehabilitation. Unfortunately, the Oregon State Department of Health requires 24-hour nursing supervision in such facilities. Because the clinic couldn't afford such supervision, the clinic was forced to close, forcing the homeless back onto the street. Thanks to the state's "all or nothing" policy, the homeless were left with nothing.

 

Time-Consuming Regulatory Process

Housing Regulations Keeps Group from Serving 160 Additional Children

It's Time is a New York City community service organization that works primarily in low-income housing preservation and youth and senior programs. It also does a large amount of tenant-landlord advocacy.

Diane Johnson, executive director, asserted that the city government's impact is too direct and too intense. Johnson cited problems with government funding cutbacks and explained how they led not only to staff lay-offs but to It's Time being taken under the wing of a parent corporation, PEOPLES, Inc.

Johnson also complained about the process of getting the funds that It's Time continues to get. "The city grant process is bloated and bureaucratic," said Johnson. "Writing the proposal, with all its required paperwork, takes one week. Then the processing of the proposal down at the relevant city department takes two to three weeks. Then once the city approves... funding, releasing the funds can take up to eight months! Such delays cause administrative nightmares for It's Time," added Johnson.

Johnson's main regulatory problems were also with the City of New York. Because she runs an after-school youth program, she must receive a license from the Department of Health, not absolutely mandatory, but functionally mandatory. This license then only allows It's Time to serve 40 children even though they have the ability to serve up to 200 children. Johnson also mentioned fire code regulations, but then conceded that these were relatively routine.

In reference to It's Time's housing operations, Johnson complained about the pace of housing inspections and basically anything else that must go through the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). For example, if It's Time is filing a complaint about bad landlords on behalf of low-income tenants or is seeking to refurbish run-down housing for low-income people, they must face a "nightmare... of red tape at DHCD," proclaimed Johnson.

 

SBA Policy Encourages Firing Individuals Based On Economic Status

The Development Credit Fund (D.C.F) provides below-market financing to disadvantaged businessmen and women in Maryland.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) guarantees some of the loans that the Fund makes. However, the SBA enforces several guidelines for these federally-backed loans. The reporting requirements for SBA loans are quite burdensome. Neil Muldrow, executive director of the Fund, said the paperwork and time required to meet the requirements is overwhelming. Mr. Muldrow also indicated that it is a "nightmare" to apply for block grants -- federal money funneled through the city of Baltimore -- since there is an exorbitant amount of required paperwork. Plus, along with these block grants came certain mandates with which D.C.F could not comply. For example, the SBA needs to know about every employee of the businesses to which the loans would go -- and all the employees have to be low-income individuals. D.C.F not only lacked the resources necessary to conduct these kinds of inquiries about each employee of a potential loan-recipient, but felt that it should not be interfering in the hiring practices of businesses, since the businesses might try to fire non-low-income employees to get the loans. Thus, the D.C.F was rejected for the block grants.

 

Forced to Hire Homeless Drivers, Group Says "No Thanks" to Public Funds

The Education and Employment Ministry, Inc. (TEEM), in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is designed to recover the honor and dignity of work by empowering participants to recover their dreams, worth, and dignity by giving a hand-up instead of a hand-out. TEEM attempts to move anyone into full employment who will make an effort to help themselves. This is accomplished by using six principles. These principles and structure provide a way for anyone to solve any problem for which he or she can be motivated or challenged to accept responsibility.

According to Theo "Doc" Benson, executive director of TEEM, "Three years ago we agreed to take on a transportation project with city, county and federal money with the agreement we would segregate the funds. We established a separate account but soon gave up the public funds because of the requirements to hire homeless drivers. The van was wrecked three times and the paperwork was beyond description."

Benson continued "We spent approximately a year in negotiations with the Department of Corrections for a contract for service after a leading member of the Oklahoma Legislature applied a great deal of pressure because he knew our program works. This contract should have been finalized in thirty days or less rather than over a year to complete the process."

 

Group Establishes Department to Deal With Federal Regulations

Focus Hope is a civil and human rights organization formed after the 1967 riots in Detroit. It seeks to build social bridges between whites and blacks and operates a flurry of social service programs for people of all ages. Its mission is to help people overcome the effects of racial injustice and to promote interracial tolerance. Focus Hope has 26,000 members and operates food, education, employment and other programs.

According to Father Cunningham of Focus Hope, "Though Focus Hope maintains generally good relations with government, we did have to establish an entire department just to deal with federal regulations. However, the organization still doesn't spend that much on complying with bureaucratic requirements mainly because the staffers who work to ensure Focus Hope's compliance with regulations are unpaid volunteers."

Father Cunningham asserted that federal training programs and requirements need to be "massively overhauled." "The programs and requirements are frequently irrelevant, wasteful, and don't really improve the quality of the service provided," said Father Cunningham. "We don't need any more federally-trained truck drivers or beauticians. Programs are often not geared towards really creating highly-skilled people. These training programs are weak substitutes for a failing public educational system," added Father Cunningham.

 

18 Governments Create Nightmare of Paperwork for Group

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC), in Washington, D.C., seeks to increase the availability of decent housing for rural low-income people. HAC provides seed money loans, technical assistance, program analysis, demonstration projects, and training services.

"The Housing Assistance Council receives money from the federal government to cycle loans out to community groups," says Joseph Belden, deputy executive director of the Council. "To do this, HAC must go through a federal government agency for each one, instead of just doing it themselves. Furthermore, contracts with this federal agency are often splintered among the 18 states in which HAC has operations. HAC has to file 18 separate reports for the same contract as a result." Belden said there's substantial paperwork but couldn't estimate the amount and replication which eats up staff time and resources. "It's like dealing with 18 little federal governments," concluded Belden.

 


 

Community Service Organizations You Should Know About

 

Best Friends Foundation
4455 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite310
Washington, D.C. 20008 202/237-8156

The Best Friends Foundation operates the Best Friends program in Washington, D.C. schools and The national training center for the Best Friends curriculum nationwide. Best Friends is an educational program for adolescent girls which encourages girls to build self-respect through self-restraint. Best Friends girls support one another in postponing sex, rejecting drug use and graduating from high school.

Only two Best Friends girls have become pregnant, 1.1 percent, of the 600 Washington girls who have been in the program for two years or more. The citywide average for girls ages 13 to 18 is 25 percent. Best Friends has reached more than 2,000 young women in 47 public schools in 14 cities.

Funding Information
Government Funded? No
Percentage of Government Funding: 0
From Which Levels of Government? N/A
Primary Source of Funding: Foundations
Estimated Annual Budget: $800,000



Brotherhood Organization Of A New Destiny
Post Office Box 86253
Los Angeles, CA 90086-0253
213/939-2160

The Brotherhood Organization of A New Destiny (B.O.N.D.), is a national non- profit organization dedicated to "Rebuilding the Family By Rebuilding the Man." BOND was founded seven years ago by its founder and current president, Jesse Peterson.

B.O.N.D. helps men (and women) regain control of their lives, lives which have often been severely damaged by self-inflicted destructive emotions. The organization stresses self-reliance, proper motivation, speaking up in honesty without judgment or hatred, and helping others with patience.

B.O.N.D. holds regular meetings, has entrepreneur, mentor, and surrogate brother programs, hosts outgoing workshops and seminars, and offers individual and group counseling. B.O.N.D. currently has chapters in Los Angeles and Novato, California; Prattville/Montgomery, Alabama; Lansing and Flint, Michigan; and Grants Pass, Oregon, with new chapters forming in other locations around the country.

One of B.O.N.D.'s programs, the Entrepreneur Program, was formed to teach young people, step-by-step, how to start and run a business. Once a student of the program determines the nature of the business he or she desires to start, B.O.N.D. rents the office space, with the student covering his or her own share. The student is responsible for his or her own merchandise and clients. Aspects of the program include: (1) regular speakers who offer wisdom on running a business; (2) group discussions which focus on shared learning experiences and nuts and bolts business know-how; and (3) a job hotline which provides the students with the opportunity to market their skills to the general public, which services a need in the community.

Funding Information
Government Funded? No
Percentage of Government Funding: 0
From Which Levels of Government? N/A
Primary Source of Funding: Individuals and Former Students
Estimated Annual Budget: $39,360

 

Capital Commitment, Inc.
3100 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, SE
Washington, D.C. 20032
202/562-5239

The mission of Capital Commitment, Inc. (CCI), is to provide telecommunications training and entrepreneurial skills to homeless men and women, disadvantaged youth, single mothers and ex-offenders in the Washington, D.C. area.

From a recent class of graduates, 273 of the 279 participants have landed jobs in the telecommunications industry starting at $22,000 a year. According to Ernest Boykins, president of Capital Commitment, these same individuals were drawing over $2.4 million annually in public assistance before they joined CCI. "You empower a person more by working than anything else," said Boykins.

Funding Information
Government Funded? No
Percentage of Government Funding: 0
From Which Levels of Government? N/A
Primary Source of Funding: Individuals
Estimated Annual Budget: Unavailable

 

Children of Mine
2263 Mt. View Place
Washington, D.C. 20020
202/610-1055

Children of Mine gives elementary and middle school students the love and discipline they often do not find either at home or in school. The organization does not ask for money, but rather for materials ranging from computers to tablecloths to a farm to hold retreats during school breaks and religious holidays. Children of Mine also counts on volunteers for Bible study, tutoring, counseling and countless other activities. Children of Mine serves as a refuge for the children from 2:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Funding Information
Government Funded? No
Percentage of Government Funding: 0
From Which Levels of Government? N/A
Primary Source of Funding: Individuals
Estimated Annual Budget: Unavailable

 

The City Mission
5310 Carnegie Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44103-4360
216/431-3510

The City Mission feeds, clothes, and shelters the poor and homeless of its surrounding community. The Mission's employees care for the sick and visit the incarcerated. It works to break down class division and racial prejudice. It seeks to prevent the conditions which lead to homelessness by welcoming "at risk" children into its youth programs. It offers a hand to those who are trapped in destructive lifestyles by providing long term rehabilitation programs.

The Crossroads Men Ministry is one of the programs offered by The Mission. Homeless men are presented with a choice: continue to live the homeless lifestyle, drifting aimlessly though life, or enter the 3 month resident program at Crossroads and gain the education, skills, and tools necessary to rebuild a shattered life. Last year, 225 men opted for The Mission.

The Residential Program offers a variety of classes to help men understand what lies at the root of their addiction and gives them the tools to prevent relapse in the future. Since 99 percent of the men who enter the program are dealing with an addiction, they are confined to the premises for the first 30 days. This allows their bodies to recover from the effects of drug and alcohol abuse. The program also focuses on education. Each man participates in a variety of work assignments as they seek to develop a solid work ethic. Financial management, debt mediation, employment readiness training, and job placement are other components The Mission offers as men progress through the program. Last year, 86 percent of the men in the resident program were employed by their discharged date.

The men who complete the program successfully are placed in a job, and upon making a commitment to a local church, may be eligible to stay for another 3-4 months in The Mission's transitional housing apartments. The men continue to meet with counselors, pursue their educational goals and attend support groups and work on managing their finances as they prepare to reenter society. Last year, 39 men lived in The Mission's transitional housing apartments. Those men who complete one year of aftercare, which includes returning once a week to attend Bible studies and maintain relationships with others who have left The Mission, officially graduate from the Crossroads programs at a special ceremony.

The Pathways Youth Ministry also plays a vital role at The Mission. Throughout 87 years of youth ministry, only a few Pathways children have ended up in The Missions shelters as adults. Pathways focuses on children from kindergarten through high school who come from Cleveland's poorest neighborhoods. More than 700 young people registered for the weekly Pathways meetings during the 1996 club season.

The City Mission served 108,502 meals, with 65 percent of The Mission's food being donated. The Mission provided shelter for more than 5,000 men, women, and children and distributed over 150,000 pounds of clothing free. In addition, more than 1,200 people came to faith in Christ.

Funding Information
Government Funded? No
Percentage of Government Funding: 0
From Which Levels of Government? N/A
Primary Source of Funding: Individuals, Businesses, Foundations, Churches
Estimated Annual Budget: $2,000,000

 

CityTeam Ministries
2302 Zanker Road
San Jose, California 95131-1137
408/232-5600

The mission of CityTeam Ministries is to glorify God by serving people in need, proclaiming the gospel and establishing disciples among the disadvantaged people of cities.

CityTeam provides many services to the community including a rescue mission, a shelter for the homeless women and their children, a family services center providing food and furniture to impoverished families, an annual summer camp for hundreds of urban-poor, drug and alcohol recovery programs, English and literacy classes, weekly Bible clubs for kids, a home for unwed pregnant women, and occasional special programs such as "On The Right Track," which provides a free haircut, backpack and school supplies to hundreds of underprivileged kids for their return to school.

Funding Information
Government Funded? No
Percentage of Government Funding: 0
From Which Levels of Government? N/A
Primary Source of Funding: Individuals
Estimated Annual Budget: $7,500,000

 

The Education & Employment Ministries (TEEM)
14 Northeast 13th Street
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104
405/235-5671

The Education and Employment Ministry, Inc. (TEEM) is designed to recover the honor and dignity of work by empowering participants to recover their dreams, worth, and dignity by giving a hand-up instead of a hand-out. It moves anyone into full employment (average 80%) who will make an effort to help themselves. This is accomplished by using six principles. These principles provide a way for anyone to solve any problem for which he/she can be motivated or challenged to accept responsibility.

According to TEEM, the Six Principles of TEEM are:

Since 1987, over 4,900 have graduated from TEEM's Job Readiness Workshop with an average employment rate of 74 percent. TEEM's cost per graduate has decreased from $1143 per person in 1987 to $758.14 in 1996. TEEM plans to reduce the cost to $500 per person.

The average annual cost in Oklahoma for welfare support is $18,000 per person. TEEM can graduate 24 people for what it cost to keep one person on welfare for a year. Incarceration for one person costs $15,000 to $60,000 annually. For the same amount, TEEM can graduate more than 20 people. A thirty-day stay at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center costs $10,000. But for that price, 13 individuals can graduate from the TEEM program and begin to take control of their lives.

Funding Information
Government Funded? No
Percentage of Government Funding: 0
From Which Levels of Government? N/A
Primary Source of Funding: Individuals
Estimated Annual Budget: $800,000

 

Harambee Christian Family Center
1581 Navarro Avenue
Pasadena, California 91103
818/791-7439

The long-term mission of the Harambee Christian Family Center is to bring about economic, educational and spiritual renewal at the grassroots level in northwest Pasadena. It especially focuses on providing community leadership and mentoring, while offering training for job, family and life. It hopes that the renewal that it produces in the 12-block area surrounding the Center will function as a prototype of urban rebirth which other decaying neighborhoods can duplicate.

Harambee offers programs such as the Young Ladies Christian Club which helps prepare girls to be Christian women. Approximately twenty girls from grades one through six meet weekly for Bible lessons, stories on cultural heritage field trips, games and crafts. The Brotherhood Club, another program, helps young boys to develop leadership skills and become young Christian men. Twenty boys from the first through sixth grades are led in many of the same programs as the Young Ladies Christian Club. The Harambee Business Club is run by students from the neighborhood and assisted by the Harambee staff. The students print T-shirts and mailings and do the layout for brochures and pamphlets, flyers, business cards and logos. Harambee also offers a Summer Day Camp that includes Bible studies, academics, crafts, overnight camping, weekly field trips, and sports.

Funding Information
Government Funded? No
Percentage of Government Funding: 0
From Which Levels of Government? N/A
Primary Source of Funding: Individuals, Churches, Foundations, and Corporations
Estimated Annual Budget: $400,000

 

Hope Now for Youth, Inc.
330 East Everglade Avenue
Fresno, California 93720
202/434-8125

The goal of Hope Now for Youth, Inc. is to hire Christian, ethnic college students to serve as counselors for the young men in the area who are involved in risky behavior. The counselors seek to provide all of the parenting that these kids have missed growing up. Services include job training, job placement and follow-up and any other basic needs that need to be met to turn the kids around.

Hope Now for Youth has helped individuals such as Nacio "Chito" Delgado, a high school dropout who would steal TVs and VCRs or sell drugs when he need cash. Today, Delgado has a legitimate job and receives a paycheck every other week. Delgado said his change was possible because of Hope Now for Youth.

Funding Information
Government Funded? No
Percentage of Government Funding: 0
From Which Levels of Government? N/A
Primary Source of Funding: Individuals
Estimated Annual Budget: $315,942

 

Immanuel Rescue Mission
Post Office Box 2803
West Helena, Arkansas 72390
501/572-3107

The main purpose and goal of the Immanuel Rescue Mission is to help the needy and the youth of the community as it has done for 27 years. Immanuel Rescue Mission offers many services to the community which include: (a) providing food bags and clothing, and some monetary support when possible; (b) providing meals on weekends for shut-ins; (c) providing a meeting place for The Youth Club for Christian Girls, Cub Scouts and the Women Support Group; (d) providing a six-week tutorial program; (e) holding open prayer meetings and revivals; (f) providing day care services Monday through Friday for working parents; and, (g) providing six weeks of vacation Bible School during the summer.

Funding Information
Government Funded? No
Percentage of Government Funding: 0
From Which Levels of Government? N/A
Primary Source of Funding: Individuals
Estimated Annual Budget: $22,507

 

Kid-Care
4504 Old Yale
Houston, Texas 77018
713/695-5437

The mission of Kid-Care is to end hunger among children in the Houston Metroplex by feeding them and trying to alter the circumstances that lead to hunger by providing nutrition classes, health seminars, cultural activities and other development programs.

Kid-Care provides Food Pantry services, has adopted an apartment complex, operates the Kid-Care Academy and Kid-Care Outdoor School, sends children to Summer Camp and empowers children in area schools to help children thorough Kids Care, sponsors a Thanksgiving Teen Retreat (a self-esteem retreat), and offers education and training for Kid-Care parents.

"It's always, 'let someone else do it,' meaning the government," said Carol Porter in a New York Times profile. "I'm saying, 'We're that someone else. You're that someone else.'"

Kid Care serves more than 20,000 meals a month to children in the Houston area.

Funding Information
Government Funded? No
Percentage of Government Funding: 0
From Which Levels of Government? N/A
Primary Source of Funding: Inheritance
Estimated Annual Budget: Unavailable

 

Teen Challenge of South Texas
3850 Southwest Loop 1604
San Antonio, Texas 78264
210/624-2075

The mission of Teen Challenge is to provide spiritual, educational, and financial help to teens addicted to drugs or alcohol, with the long-range goal of preparing the teens to return to society, and become a productive and responsible member.

"The difference between Teen Challenge and other drug and alcohol programs is the basic belief that an addict must find a personal relationship with Jesus Christ if he/she wishes to find a permanent freedom from addictions," said James Heurich, executive director of the San Antonio Teen Challenge.

Funding Information
Government Funded? No
Percentage of Government Funding: 0
From Which Levels of Government? N/A
Primary Source of Funding: Individuals
Estimated Annual Budget: $312,000

 

Victory Fellowship of Texas
Post Office Box 37387
San Antonio, Texas 78237
|210/433-0028

Victory Fellowship is a Christian ministry helping recovering drug addicts and alcoholics rebuild their lives. Victory has helped over 13,000 former drug and alcohol abusers with incredible results: nearly two out of every three people who stay in the program for three to six months overcome their addictions.

Pastor Freddie Garcia, a former hard-core drug-addict, established Victory Fellowship of Texas more than 25 years ago as a Christian Rehabilitation Center. Some of the accomplishments of Victory include: the Victory Temple Church, with a congregation of more than 600 members, 58 percent of whom are former drug or alcohol addicts; and Victory Leadership Academy, which is designed to teach the needs of Christian rehabilitation centers within the inner-city and all over the world. Many of the academy's graduates have gone on to become licensed and ordained ministers.

Funding Information
Government Funded? No
Percentage of Government Funding: 0
From Which Levels of Government? N/A
Primary Source of Funding: Individuals
Estimated Annual Budget: Unavailable

 

The Washington Scholarship Fund
1133 15th Street, Northwest
Suite 600
Washington, D.C. 20005
202/842-1355

The Washington Scholarship Fund (WSF), an initiative of The National Scholarship Center, was created in 1993 by a group of businesses and community leaders to help needy Washington families send their children to private school.

The Washington Scholarship Fund pays one-half of yearly tuition, up to an annual maximum of $1,500, for eligible children to attend the private school of their choice. There are three criteria for students entering the program:

Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first serve basis. The families come to WSF for help and the families select their own school. The families contribute the balance of the tuition and if need be, secure other financial aid, so they are actively involved with the schools. In the first year of WSF, 57 students attended private schools and by January 1996, the number had grown to 225. More than 600 additional children are waiting and the lists grows every day.

"My son loves the school," said Voni Eason, a mother whose son is attending private school thanks to the Fund. "He even likes the uniform. He feels like he's a grown man. Without an education -- and a good strong education -- he's not going to have a good job. Without [The Washington Scholarship Fund], he wouldn't be able to go to his school."

Funding Information
Government Funded? No
Percentage of Government Funding: 0
From Which Levels of Government? N/A
Primary Source of Funding: Businesses, Individuals, Foundations
Estimated Annual Budget: $42,000



For more information on the full 80+ page Black America 1997: How Government Harms Charities... And How Some Are Succeeding Anyway, contact Project 21 at 202/543-4110 or [email protected].


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