The White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships said working with religious leaders in their hometowns enables the administration to better support the critical work of feeding and housing people, ensuring health care, creating economic opportunities, promoting education and strengthening families.
Gov. John Hickenlooper said in the keynote address that people questioned Denver's recruitment of congregations to help the city end homelessness — an initiative he undertook as mayor.
The law says government can't favor one religion over another, Hickenlooper said — it doesn't say you cannot get involved with religious communities.
"Communities of faith have been a big part of our search for social justice from the beginning," Hickenlooper said.
In continuing a faith-based initiative of President George W. Bush, said faith-based groups are not a substitute for secular nonprofits and government efforts, but America "needs all hands on deck."