The Hoboken Homeless Shelter provides over 530 meals a day and shelter to 50 people every night, in part due to funding received from federal Community Development Block Grants.
The shelter is just one of roughly 15 local organizations which receive this funding to provide services to low and moderate income families. According to Hoboken City Planner Chris Brown, local organizers have until 4 p.m. on March 31 to submit their applications for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding.
CDBG is a program that provides communities with resources and annual grants to address a wide range of unique community development needs. Beginning in 1974, the CDBG program is one of the longest continuously run programs at The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Hoboken became entitled to certain kinds of grants for local groups in 2015, according to Brown.
“Before that we received funds from the Hudson County Consortium, who received funding from HUD,” said Brown. “Now we have more of a direct line to HUD which gives us a little more control over where the funding goes.”
Brown said this also allowed the city to get more funding.
“In the past the city would get $400,000 or $500,000 now we get about a million,” said Brown.
Who it benefits
Brown explained to a crowd of over 30 people during a community meeting last week that the city seeks projects that meet the national HUD objective of benefitting low- and moderate-income (LMI) persons.
In 2016 the grants funded several local organizations and nonprofit programs, including Boys and Girls Club, Garden State Episcopal, CDC Hoboken Community Center, Hoboken Day Care 100, Hoboken Housing Authority, Hoboken Family Planning, Hoboken Shelter ,HOPES CAP (Jubilee Center), All Saints Community Service & Development Corp, The Waterfront Project, Inc. True Mentors, and Urban Renewal Corp.
This year several representatives from organizations in the area discussed their need for funding.
Yvette Miles, head teacher at the Boys and Girls Club, said they would like to use funding to expand their facilities.
“If we can build bigger rooms and expand we can bring in older people 16, 17, 18 19 up until 23 years old and get them off the streets,” said Miles. “I live in Housing Authority, and I’m sure you heard of the problems, the drugs, killing people, and the fighting .The [kids] do want to come but we don’t have the space, it would be a blessing.”
Director Deloris Gibson said, “We have a lot of repairs too but we are trying to get young adults who are outside inside.”
Toni Tomarazzo came to speak about the proposed Hoboken Community Center, formerly the old YMCA building on the corner of 13th and Washington Streets.
Tomarazzo said she and other board members are hoping to dedicate the unused YMCA space as the “Hoboken Community Center.”
“It will have a full length Olympic pool… provide public meeting spaces, children and adult programming, and education opportunities for residents.”
She said in the past they received CDBG funding but hope “to receive more funds this year to help with the building’s rehabilitation.”
“It’ll provide meeting space, office space for non profits and return as the hub of this great town we live in.” said Tomarazzo. “We hope to get funding to get this process underway and make our facilities available.”
“In the past the city would get $400,000 or $500,000 now we get about a million.” --Chris Brown.
“Many of our Hoboken Housing Authority families cant afford child caring services,” said Reyes. “I am a Housing Authority resident so I know how important these services are needed.”
Reyes said they provide early childhood education, as well as senior educational services.
Richard Ward of Hoboken Family Planning said they had been a grantee for several years but did not receive as much funding last year as in previous years.
“Our grant money was cut in half,” said Ward. “We are kind of hoping that can be restored this coming year mainly because of an upsurge in STDs.”
Hoboken Family Planning also provides cancer screenings and general healthcare.
Hoboken Homeless Shelter’s Executive Director Jaclyn Cherubini said there are about 200 homeless people in Hoboken and last year the shelter was able to help over 140 people move from the streets, to the shelter, to their own homes.
According to Brown, Hoboken has not yet received notice from HUD of how much money the city will be able to distribute.
“In the past we’ve received roughly $1 million each year so we are anticipating to receive that this year,” said Brown. Funds will become available for the selected applications as early as July 1.
For more information or for an application email City Planner Chris Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org. or go to the Hoboken Planning and Zoning Office, 94 Washington Street, second Floor between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Brown can also be reached at 201-239-6642.
Marilyn Baer can be reached at email@example.com.