Frequently Asked Questions

What is different about the CNE approach to the problems of our society?

CNE believes that the best source of solutions is within the neighborhoods that are affected. Rather than parachute programs into low-income communities, we seek out those individuals and organizations that are already addressing the problems, help them build their capacities, and assist them in linking to the resources they need.

What are the characteristics of a CNE “grassroots organization?”

In every community, no matter how devastated, there are individuals, families, or groups that respond to the problems they see and seek to provide solutions. The groups CNE assists: come from the same zip code as those they serve; their programs pre-date funding; theirs is a lifetime commitment of service and not a job; and their goal is the self-sufficiency of those they serve. Most but not all of them are faith-based.

How does CNE help grassroots organizations?

By identifying those that are effective, giving them training and technical assistance to strengthen their ability to serve and sustain themselves, linking them to outside resources, and assisting with public policy issues that concern them.

Is CNE a religious organization?

No. But over the years, CNE has found that the most effective neighborhood-based organizations are faith-centered, because they are able to transform hearts and lay the groundwork for the successful application of jobs and other economic programs. Grassroots groups in CNE’s network represent a wide spectrum of religious faiths.

Does CNE specialize in any subject area?

CNE works with grassroots groups on the whole range of problems of poverty, with a particular emphasis on those dealing with youth violence, since the restoration of civil order is a necessary foundation for civic health. Other issues include substance abuse, homelessness, housing, education, community revitalization, economic development, youth development, ex-offender reentry, and work preparation.

Why should CNE and the groups CNE serves be supported?

Not only are they solving some of the most troubling problems of our low-income communities, the solutions they have devised in the crucible of poverty are exportable to the affluent suburbs. Youth violence, teen pregnancy, and substance abuse are examples.