ON-Lion Letter

In February, the State of Kansas awarded a one-year, $314,000 grant to the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise (CNE) in Washington, D.C., to help low-income communities find ways to combat poverty, violence, substance abuse, and absent fathers.  "I'm excited to see this nationally recognized, successful initiative come to Kansas,” Gov. Sam Brownback said of the organization led by Bradley Prize recipient Robert L. Woodson, Sr.

"Government doesn't have the answers, our citizens know the problems plaguing their communities," Brownback added, “and I look forward to working with Mr. Woodson to help our towns and neighborhoods grow at a grassroots level."

CNE helps often-unrecognized leaders find ways to improve their communities without being overly dependent on government programs.  It is substantially supported by The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee.

With the grant CNE and Kansas Department for Children and Families officials will recruit, train, and assist 240 leaders from 17 cities -- Dodge City, Fort Scott, Great Bend, Garden City, Hays, Hutchinson, Independence, Kansas City, Lawrence, Leavenworth, Liberal, Manhattan, Olathe, Pittsburg, Salina, Topeka, and Wichita.  Leaders in each community will be encouraged to draft ideas for addressing local needs.

Afterward, their proposals may be eligible for additional funding through public or private grant programs.  The groups are expected to include people involved in law enforcement, child welfare, health care, mental health, social services, city government, credit counseling, and the local faith community.

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