Regional Foundation Announces $1.95 Million in Grant Awards

Regional Foundation deepens its neighborhood revitalization in three New Jersey communities.


Philadelphia, PA – Today the Regional Foundation announced $1,950,000 in Implementation Grants to three organizations throughout New Jersey. The Neighborhood Implementation Grants program supports comprehensive community development plans that target specific neighborhoods, are resident-driven, and equity-focused. The multi-year funding is designed to assist the foundation’s grantee partners to start or sustain momentum in their comprehensive neighborhood revitalization initiatives.

“The grant investments announced today reflect the foundation’s ongoing commitment to sustained funding for our partners” stated Kevin Dow, Executive Director of the foundation. “Habitat and Parkside are strong partners doing amazing work including collaborations with other foundation partners and NJCDC is exciting as it moves our long-standing partnership from neighborhood planning to implementation and deepens our support in Paterson.”

The Neighborhood Implementation Grantees are:

(1) Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newark will receive $300,000 to build on the last 5 years of implementation in Newark’s West and Central Village neighborhoods. Following the foundation’s initial $600,000 for planning and the first phase of implementation, Habitat is positioned to sustain its critically needed food distribution system created during its COVID-19 response. Habitat’s implementation work is rooted in addressing multiple social determinants of health and their cornerstone priorities are neighborhood building, healthy homes, community wellness, economic opportunity, and safety. Habitat will continue to distribute about 4,000 weekly meals and expand its ID restoration program and re-entry work in partnership with local organizations. Strategies include growing the community’s Resource Hub, coordinated by staff and a local resident, to support connections to programs and resources and serve as a neighborhood meeting place.

(2) New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC) will receive a grant investment of $1,000,000 over 5 years to support its Great Falls Neighborhood Plan completed in 2021, following an initial investment of $100,000 from the foundation. The resident-led and resident-driven plan illustrates how housing, education, creative placemaking, and open spaces can support the revitalization of this highly diverse neighborhood of Paterson—New Jersey’s third-largest city. NJCDC will serve as the backbone of a collaborative between Paterson Public Schools, the National Park Service, and multiple grassroots organizations solving food insecurity; supporting women and children; and providing family supports promoting education and youth development. Additionally, NJCDC aims to redistribute nearly half of its grant investment. On the horizon, NJCDC’s newest project is the development of a 56-unit “healthy homes” apartment building in partnership with Saint Joseph’s Health system and the creation of a business improvement district. NJCDC will also refresh its Community Advisory Board (CAB), hire paid Neighborhood Captains, and work closely with residents on progress throughout the grant period. Resources have also been allocated for participatory grant making, wherein the CAB will select local partners to receive mini- grants to further the overall Great Falls Neighborhood Plan.

(3) Parkside Business & Community In Partnership (PBCIP) will receive its second Implementation Grant investment in the amount of $650,000 to continue the strong momentum of the past five years in the Parkside neighborhood of Camden, NJ and augment the foundation’s initial $1,250,000 investment. Utilizing a collaborative model with multiple partners, PBCIP will focus on housing and commercial acquisition as well as restoration, education, open spaces and healthy living, and neighborhood services. Reflecting its success, PBCIP partners with the Camden County Police to deliver a safe community. Key partnerships involve Hopeworks for youth employment training, Camden Parent and Student Union to advocate for quality education, Rowan University for food access, Latin American Economic Development Association (LAEDA) which is facilitating a thriving business corridor, Camden County Historical Society to leverage the cultural value of the neighborhood, and others to implement an array of activities over the next five years. PBCIP’s resident engagement strategies are embedded in its organizational structure and in all activities. Board members are 70% Parkside residents, and most staff live in the neighborhood.

Quotes from Grantees/Community Members:

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newark
“We would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Regional Foundation for their incredibly generous and valuable contribution of $300,000, to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newark. With this funding, we will be able to implement a range of transformative projects, paving the way for a brighter future for the residents in the West and Central wards in Newark, NJ. These funds will be instrumental in supporting our Neighborhood Revitalization initiatives including our West and Central Community Resource Hub. The Regional Foundation’s funding continues to play a vital role in sustaining our Affordable Housing Program, Food Pantry, Critical Repair and Healthy Homes Initiative, and Health and Wellness Initiatives while also enabling the expansion of our ID restoration, Re-entry Programs, and Computer Lab. Once again, we extend our most sincere appreciation to the Regional Foundation for their critical role in helping us to make a lasting impact on the lives of those we serve.”

New Jersey Community Development Corporation
NJCDC is committed to the equitable and resident-driven revitalization of Paterson’s Great Falls Neighborhood,” said NJCDC Founder & CEO Bob Guarasci. “We are grateful to the Regional Foundation for their ongoing support of our mission, including an initial investment that allowed us to facilitate a resident- and stakeholder-led planning process for the neighborhood’s future. With this funding from the Regional Foundation, NJCDC looks forward to collaborating with community partners and neighborhood residents to transform lives in the Great Falls Neighborhood.”

Parkside Business & Community In Partnership
“We are thrilled to continue our longstanding partnership with the Regional Foundation”, said Bridget Phifer, CEO of PBCIP. “This investment will provide much needed support to advance programs and engagement practices that are necessary to ensure equity and inclusivity for a thriving Parkside community. In collaboration with local nonprofit partners – Camden County Historical Society, Camden Parent Union, Hopeworks and Latin American Economic Development Association (LAEDA) – we are committed to pursuing a collective mission for a healthy Parkside that is built toward a growing and vibrant tomorrow.”