HUD Withholds Funds from Youth Center with "Spiritual Rap Sessions"

July 30, 2001

Source: The Hartford Courant

On July 30, 2001, The Hartford Courant reported that officials of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development threatened to withhold $9,000 from Barbara Miller's I Have a Friend Youth Center in Hartford after "she supplemented the tutoring and after-school activities she offered by asking a minister she knew to hold what she called 'spiritual rap sessions' once a week...HUD's decision drew an angry response from Miller...She said the sessions were not Bible classes or religious instruction and filled an important need for the children at the center." A city official "was told by HUD that it would take the money away because of regulations that prohibit the agency from funding religious activities."