Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newark (HFHGN) on Thursday said it was recently awarded a second implementation grant in the amount of $300,000 from the Regional Foundation. The Implementation II grant is designed to foster the revitalization of Newark’s West and Central Village neighborhoods in Newark.
In 2018, in collaboration with the residents of the West & Central Village of Newark and with a grant from the Regional Foundation, HFHGN developed a neighborhood revitalization plan, to address the numerous and broad needs in the West & Central Village including: unchecked crime, lack of access to healthy food, a lack of recreational amenities for children, and access to employment.
The following year Habitat Greater Newark implemented its revitalization plan with grants from lead funders including Bayer, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Prudential Financial, Regional Foundation, and Victoria Foundation.
The West and Central Village Community Resource Hub opened on the corner of South Orange Avenue and South 6th Street on the ground floor of HFHGN’s co-op building providing resources and services including: a food pantry to address food insecurity for economically disadvantaged families, health and wellness services connecting residents to health care and other critical services, a license restoration program to assist in securing employment and a computer lab for children and adults who lack access to their own equipment.
Following the Regional Foundation’s initial $500,000 for planning and the first phase of implementation, Habitat’s Food Pantry opened in response to meet the neighborhood’s critical need for food during the COVID-19 pandemic. Distributing 11,000 meals monthly, HFHGN’s food pantry has been a lifeline to the neighborhood. Funding from the Regional Foundation Implementation Grant II will enable us to build our capacity to expand the Food Pantry to meet the increasing food insecurity among the residents we serve. Habitat Greater Newark’s ID restoration and re-entry programs are collaborative efforts with other local organizations and have been critical to the needs of the residents.
Phase II of the implementation will see the expansion of these critical programs to better serve the community. Habitat’s implementation work is rooted in addressing basic needs and multiple social determinants of health and the phase II implementation will enable us to continue to forge relationships with partners to address the needs of the neighborhood.
“Our neighborhood revitalization program in the West & Central Village aims to foster the great potential of this distressed neighborhood by stimulating home ownership and economic growth and ensuring that basic needs are met” Jeffrey Farrell, chief executive officer of HFHGN said. “By layering public and private funding and working with other social service agencies, we can sustain our programs and expand to reach others in need.”
Habitat Greater Newark also plans to utilize the funding to develop additional housing in the West & Central Village where pre-development is already under way and continue to provide Healthy Homes and Critical Repairs for seniors and veterans at risk of homelessness within our focus area. Construction will bring two side-by-side duplexes to the neighborhood.
Projects will be constructed to Energy Star standards and sold to low-to-moderate-income residents.