The New Community Family Resource Success Center has moved! The same vital resources and friendly staff serving the community can now be found at 274 South Orange Ave. in Newark, on the first floor.
“We’re just a block away from where we were,” said the Center’s director, Joann Williams-Swiney, describing the one stop’s new location which is approximately 0.2 miles from the former site, according to Google Maps.
The Family Resource Success Center is now located in the same complex as other NCC services, such as Harmony House, a transitional housing facility for homeless families, and the five-star rated Extended Care Facility, an 180-bed skilled nursing facility. Additionally, the Center is housed in the same building as New Community’s Workforce Development Center, and mere steps away from the Financial Opportunity Center and New Community Federal Credit Union, which are also located on the same floor as the Center.
“It’s better access,” Williams-Swiney said of being located down the hallway from the Workforce Development Center’s reception area. “The advantage to being here is students have direct access to the (Family Resource Success Center),” she said. The Center’s main goal remains steadfast: “to provide all who walk through its doors with the opportunity to learn about all services offered by NCC in one central location and, in addition to NCC services, provide scheduled visits by public and private agencies to present their services.”
In February, the Center will again offer its annual free income tax preparation services to qualified individuals. Beginning February 1, residents can meet with a certified IRS preparer on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call the Center at 973-565-9500.
The Family Resource Success Center continues to offer services such as housing information, food stamp assistance, shelter placement, utility assistance, food referrals, advocacy services health screenings and referrals to resources within the NCC network as well as at other agencies.
“We’re ready to rock and roll,” Rashid Karriem, a volunteer at the Center, said standing in the new location, which resembles the former space with the same cubicles and office fixtures. In 2007, the Family Resource Success Center opened its doors at 131-185 Bergen Street as the new neighbor to the Central Ward’s much heralded anchor supermarket, Pathmark. Located between Pathmark and Dunkin’ Donuts, the Family Resource Success Center attracted walk-in visitors through the foot traffic generated by the businesses.
Now, the Family Resource Success Center is still open to walk-ins but is strategically located directly next to departments such as the Workforce Development Center and Financial Opportunity Center, which receives a steady stream of students, job seekers and other residents seeking services. Additionally, on the third floor of 274 South Orange Ave. is the Family Service Bureau, which provides mental and behavioral health services to children, adults, individuals and families. The Supportive Assistance to Individuals and Families Program (SAIF) is located on the fourth floor.
“Co-locating NCC’s Resource Center within Workforce Development is a natural fit,” said Rodney Brutton, director of Workforce Development. “It’s crucial that our Workforce students are connected to supportive services while attending school and post-graduation. Having access to support services positively impacts daily attendance, program completion and job placement outcomes for program participants.”
“I’m happy they’re here,” added LaToya Bass, receptionist at Workforce.
“It feels good,” Anne Moran, another volunteer who helps residents apply for utility assistance through the NJ Shares program, said of the Center’s new home.
Starting December 13, William-Swiney and her all-volunteer staff began the moving process from the Bergen Street location. By December 21, they had fully moved into their new space.
“Clients are still finding us,” said Williams-Swiney, who has been at the helm of the Center since its inception a decade ago. In 2016, the Family Resource Success Center provided 4,195 services to residents in need.
Aside from its new address, the Family Resource Success Center will maintain its same hours of operation (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the exception of specific services) and its main phone number also remains the same (973-565-9500).