Faith-based charities have friends in Washington - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Faith-based charities have friends in Washington

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - President Obama is working to expand partnerships between the federal government and local faith-based groups.

He says that will help deliver better services to people and neighborhoods that need them most.

At 'Love Thy Neighbor' in Albany, they try to help as many neighbors as they can. They can only help about thirty clients each of the three days they're open.

President Obama announced plans to expand the White House office of Faith based and neighborhood Partnerships started by former president Bush.

The goal is to help organizations like this one make a bigger impact in the communities they serve.

"And if we allow God's grace to enter into that space that lies between us then the old rifts will start to mend and new partnerships will begin to emerge," said the president.

Obama said the top priority of the office will be making community groups an integral part of the economic recovery plan, by helping to reduce the number of people in poverty.

"Well I think it's a good idea as long as there are not too may strings attached and bureaucracy involved."

The president said groups like Love Thy Neighbor are important because they are closer to what's happening in the streets and neighborhoods.

"It requires us not only to believe but to do, to give something of ourselves for the benefit of others and the betterment of our world," said the president.

The president contends the White house office on faith-based initiatives won't favor any single religious group.

Organizations like Love Thy Neighbor here in Albany like the idea because it could help reduce the number of people living in poverty.

The President says faith-based and neighborhood charities are often on the front lines helping people who need job training or food or help paying their heating bills.

And he wants to do more for those groups.

President Obama also created a new advisory council for the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships with 25 members from various faiths.

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