Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Conference
Helps Prepare Gulf Coast Faith-Based Groups
for Role in Recovery Effort

[Photo 1: Bob Young and Johnny Dupree at Podium]
HUD Region 4 Director, Bob Young expresses his appreciation to Hattiesburg Mayor, Johnny Dupree for hosting the Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Gulf Coast Conference in his City.

[Photo 2: Teresa Chappell]
Region 4, Faith-Based Liaison, Teresa Chappell was the driving force behind initiating the Gulf Coast Conference and was also one of the conference's most inspirational speakers.

[Photo 3: Participants at Gulf Coast Faith-Based Conference]
Participants in Gulf Coast Faith-Based Conference listen attentively as HUD staff outline a vision of HUD's role in recovery effort, and offer insights on how Faith-Based organizations can access HUD resources to assist in recovery effort.

More than 200 representatives of Faith-Based organizations from across the Gulf Coast region gathered in Hattiesburg, MS recently to take part in a HUD seminar on ways Faith-Based organizations could participate in the Gulf Coast recovery effort. The program began with a welcome by Hattiesburg Mayor, Johnny Dupree, who was recognized for his leadership in helping to make the conference a success. Mayor Dupree encouraged the attendees to listen attentively and find ideas that they could take home to aid in the recovery effort. He also expressed faith that if the participants did their part, HUD would do our part as well.

David Enzel, Deputy Director, Office of Field Policy and Management and David Carradini, Senior Advisor for HUD's Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, both from HUD Headquarters, as well as a host of staff from the Atlanta Regional and Field Offices in Birmingham, AL; Jackson, MS; and Jacksonville, FL participated in the program. HUD discussed programs that could assist in the recovery effort, the SuperNOFA process and Katrina Disaster Housing Assistance Program. Emphasis was also placed on encouraging Faith-Based groups to explore the advantage of partnering with other entities to apply for funding.

In putting the conference together, HUD Region IV Faith-Based Liaison, Teresa Chappelle noted that, "We did not want to do another conference where HUD speakers just stood there and talked about HUD programs. What we wanted to do and what I think we accomplished, was to have a conference where faith based participants were educated on what role they could play in the recovery effort, and on how they could access HUD resources to assist in the recovery effort."

Attendees of the conference listened attentively and asked direct questions about how they could access funding resources to help meet needs in their communities. Participating HUD staff recognized the unique perspective that Faith-Based and community organizations bring to the recovery effort. They were recognized for their knowledge of their communities, for their commitment to help regardless of funding, and for the fact that they desire to help. Many attendees expressed appreciation at having access to so many senior HUD officials in one setting, and also appreciated that the seminar agenda was created with the intent of encouraging audience participation.

Overall it was an inspirational day of sharing between HUD staff and the Gulf Coast Faith-Based community. HUD staff noted that they learned as much from program participants as they offered in HUD information.

Content Archived: July 11, 2011