HFNJ Announces $2.17M in Q1 2023 awards to strengthen local health

The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey on Thursday said it awarded more than $2.166 million to 14 New Jersey nonprofit organizations in the first quarter of 2023.

Two of the awards — a $294,739 grant to the JCC MetroWest and a $225,000 award to Newark’s North Ward Center — represent the foundation’s first grants given under a new pilot program to provide multiyear funding.

The JCC of MetroWest’s project will support the launch of an expansion of the Littman Memory Center for seniors with moderate memory impairment over the next three years. The expansion will create a program for those facing more serious impairment, as well as providing respite to caregivers and community outreach. The $225,000 award to the North Ward Center will support a three-year initiative to reintegrate older adults into the Casa Israel day program. During the pandemic, many seniors stopped attending Casa Israel programs, and remain homebound and isolated for fear of, and susceptibility to, the COVID-19 virus. Through this project, the North Ward Center will creatively implement innovative outreach strategies to bring these seniors back to the center, and make them feel comfortable and safe so that they can take advantage of activities and resources that will benefit their health.

These multiyear grants are part of a reenvisioning process that HFNJ is undergoing, responding to the community and strengthening agencies in their efforts to emerge from the pandemic and make an even greater impact in their work supporting vulnerable populations.

Two grants awarded this cycle aim to help victims of violence in the greater Newark area — and to prevent the recurrence of violence and trauma.

The largest award of the cycle is a $408,756 grant to the Newark Community Street Team to support its Trauma Recovery Center. The TRC is a national award-winning program that provides evidence-based counseling to help victims and witnesses of violent crime heal, reduce symptoms and improve their health and family dynamics. The grant will also provide for a Trauma Response Hardship Fund to alleviate financial burdens that may be left in the wake of violence.

A $118,232 grant to the Essex County Family Justice Center will help an estimated 500 victims of domestic violence in Essex County receive crucial wrap-around services that include the provision of free, client-centered, trauma-informed counseling.

In addition to JCC of MetroWest, three other agencies serving the Jewish community of the Greater MetroWest region received grants this quarter.

Jewish Community Housing Corp. received $103,950 to launch its Assisted Living Program to improve the lives and functionality of older adults living in JCHC housing. JCC of Central NJ received $94,950 to hire additional staff to allow its Inclusion and Support Services Department to offer expanded services to children with disabilities. And Jewish Family Service of Central Jersey received $70,000 for a program to prevent homelessness among older adults in Union County.

Caring for the Jewish community of Greater MetroWest is central to the mission of the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, which was founded by the Jewish community from the sale of Newark Beth Israel Hospital over a quarter-century ago.

“We are excited to award the foundation’s first multiyear grants in this cycle, and are proud to support all of these excellent projects improving the health and well-being of those in our region,” Michael Schmidt, executive director and CEO of the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey. “Our multiyear funding initiative emerged from listening to our community partners and our desire to be nimble and responsive to their needs. We heard from grantees that, when funding is committed over multiple years, it provides for stability and strategic longer-term planning and implementation of critical projects.”

The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey operates on a quarterly grant-making cycle. The grants awarded in the first quarter of 2023 are:

  1. Newark Community Street Team, NCST’s Trauma Recovery Center, $408,756;
  2. JCC of MetroWest, Littman Memory Center for Seniors with Moderate Memory Impairment, $294,739;
  3. North Ward Center, Reintegrating Our Seniors, $225,000;
  4. Family Service Bureau of Newark, Bringing Hope to Individuals and Families, $157,600;
  5. Family Connections, Pride+ — Counseling and Supports for LGBTQIA+ Youth, Their Parents and School Communities, $154,190;
  6. Center for Family Services, Baby’s Best Start, $150,000;
  7. Kean University, Raising Families: Recharging Mental Health and Child Development Post-Pandemic, $123,804;
  8. Essex County Family Justice Center Inc., Expanding Trauma-Informed Mental Healthcare for Greater Newark’s Most Marginalized Victims of Domestic Violence, $118,232;
  9. Jewish Community Housing Corp., JCHC Assisted Living Program — Year 2, $103,950;
  10. New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Art of Well-being: Leveraging the Arts for a Healthier Newark, $100,000;
  11. JCC of Central NJ, Holistic Disability Support, $94,950;
  12. Seton Hall University, Expansion of the Seton Hall College of Nursing Online Nurse Practitioner (Year 2), $85,476;
  13. New Jersey Institute of Technology, a Campus Wellness Program at NJIT, $80,000;
  14. Jewish Family Service of Central Jersey, Program to Prevent Homelessness for Union County Older Adults, $70,000.