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Faith- and Community-Based Initiatives

The 82nd Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1965, which directs the expansion of faith- and community-based initiatives in Texas. HHSC and other state agencies are working to strengthen the capacity of faith- and community-based organizations and forge stronger partnerships between the organizations. Major components of the Faith- and Community-Based Initiatives include agency liaison activities, the interagency coordinating group, and the Task Force on Improving Relations with Nonprofits.

Current Activities

Past Activities

Texas Faith-Based and Community Initiative: OneStar leads the Governor's Faith-Based and Community Initiative, which was created in 2004.

Reports:

HHSC Faith- and Community-Based Liaison

The legislation directed HHSC and 13 other state agencies to appoint a faith- and community-based liaison to help:

  • Identify and remove barriers to partnerships between HHSC and faith- and community-based organizations.
  • Provide information and training as needed for HHSC employees on equal opportunity standards for faith- and community-based organizations seeking to partner with HHSC.
  • Facilitate the identification of practices with demonstrated effectiveness for organizations that partner with HHSC.
  • Coordinate efforts with OneStar Foundation and provide information, support and assistance to that office as requested to the extent permitted by law.

Interagency Coordinating Group – Agency Liaisons

The legislation directed the HHSC faith-and community-based liaison to establish an Interagency Coordinating Group made up of liaisons from other agencies and a representative from the OneStar Foundation. The coordinating group will meet periodically and remove interagency barriers to partnerships between state government and faith- and community-based organizations.

Renewing Our Communities Account

House Bill 492 created the Renewing Our Communities Account during the 2009 legislative session. The account funds HHSC efforts to increase the capacity of faith- and community-based organizations to provide to Texans in need, assist local governments with establishing faith- and community-based initiatives, and foster better partnerships between state government and these organizations. The legislation directs HHSC to contract with OneStar Foundation to administer Renewing Our Communities Account funds and implement activities outlined in the bill. The OneStar Foundation website includes information about the account, funding opportunities, and information about grantees. 

Renewing Our Communities Account Advisory Committee

House Bill 492 created the Renewing Our Communities Account Advisory Committee during the 2009 legislative session. The advisory committee meets twice each year and makes recommendations to the HHSC executive commissioner on the powers and duties of the Renewing Our Communities Account. The HHSC executive commissioner appointed nine members to the committee:

Ronnie Hagerty (chair)
Assistant vice president of community relations, United Way of Greater Houston

Kenneth Gladish (vice-chair)
President, Austin Community Foundation

Martha T. Blaine
Executive director, Community Council of Greater Dallas

Teata Collier
Executive director, Education and Agriculture Together Foundation

Marlene DiLillo
Executive director, Greater Killeen Free Clinic

Dalia Rodriguez
Chief executive officer, Rio Grande Valley Empowerment Zone

Bridget Samuel
Chief operating officer, Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston

Charlene Shreder
Executive director, Sister Communities Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse

J.D. Young
Executive director, Faith Mission

Task Force on Strengthening Nonprofit Capacity

House Bill 492 directed HHSC to create the Task Force on Strengthening Nonprofit Capacity to submit a report with recommendations to the Texas Legislature on ways to strengthen the capacity of faith- and community-based organizations. The HHSC executive commissioner appointed eight members to the task force members.

The task force conducted five hearings throughout Texas in 2010 to get public testimony for the report to the Texas Legislature.

Task Force Members

Joyce James (chair)
Associate deputy commissioner, Texas Health and Human Services Commission
State Agency Representative

Robert Hickerson (vice-chair)
Chief operating officer, Texas Tech University Off-Campus Sites
Community-Based Organization Representative

Angela Bies
Assistant professor, Bush School of Government & Public Service, Texas A&M University
Academic Community Representative

Brad Carter
Executive director, Connecting Caring Communities
Faith-Based Organization Representative

Bruce Esterline
Vice president for grants, The Meadows Foundation
Foundation Community Representative

Karen R. Johnson
Chief executive officer, United Ways of Texas
Community-Based Organization Representative

Bee Moorhead
Executive director, Texas Impact
Faith-Based Organization Representative

Barry Silverberg
Chief executive officer, Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations
Community-Based Organization Representative