As Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Cory Booker and his administration will celebrate their 10th Anniversary of public service to this wonderful city. As we look back over the years of service, we focus on one of the mayor’s greatest contribution given to the residents of Newark that will live on long after his term in office. Established in 2003, the Newark Now Organization has helped over tens of thousand of Essex county residents each year who struggle against economic hardships, pregnant mothers who are in need of maternity care and men wanting a better life and reconnection with their children due to years of incarceration. The Newark Now organization provides the means for anyone who will take the time and make the effort to change for the better. It is the beacon that shines through these struggles and offers a hand to those who've fallen in between the cracks of bureaucracy or their cries on careless ears.
Three key programs, created by Newark Now, have won over the heart and admiration of community residents and New Jersey legislators by making them readily accessible to needy people who desire to make a positive change in their lives. First off is the Family Success Center, located in Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, NJ. The center also serves 14 other Family Success Centers throughout the city that work independently by other non profits. Since it’s inception, the Family Success Center has helped struggling families apply and receive approval for Food Stamps, Medicaid and Medicare and maternity supplies and medical supervision for expectant mothers just for starters. The center offers maternity and nutritional workshops and programs designed for well being of both expectant mothers and newborns. Many of them, especially young mothers, often cannot afford the medical attention or essential nutritional resources needed to maintain their health. People like Khalilah Jackson, the Site Coordinator, has been instrumental in helping to reduce the number of miscarriages by providing counseling and seeking the necessary funds to help expectant mothers in need. Khalilah and staff members connect with many corporate retailers / businesses to donate food and baby furniture and merchandise as well as secure private donations. Khaliah has become a resource herself by connecting the needs of expectant mothers with cribs and carriages as well as baby gift baskets and gift cards. The Center offers hope to a life in need.
The next program created by the Newark Now organization, is Fathers Now. Open to Essex County residents and located on Broad Street in Newark. The program works with ex-offenders as well as fathers who never had a criminal record to re unite with their children and become a loving fathers again. It is these men who desire to reunite with the children but find the task difficult if not impossible on their own. Fathers Now helps these broken fathers from inside out and rebuilds them anew. Men enrolled in this program begin to take classes on parenting, are assisted with legal counseling regarding parental visitation rights, attend college or job training classes resulting in earning certifications, or a degree. At the end of the program, all those who completed the course have a graduation ceremony among friends and family. The program allows these men to have control of their own destiny and in turn become self-motivated career workers as well as responsible and loving fathers. An unintended benefit of this course is that many graduated fathers often return to be mentors to other young fathers who had similar hardship experiences. Overall Fathers Now generates a sense of brotherhood among participants of this program and is helping to create a strong chain without any weak links.
The third program called the Financial Empowerment Center, located on Bloomfield Avenue in Newark, offers both financial and investment counseling. Many people who work hard for their money often do not know how to save or what potential tax benefits they are entitled to. The center offers experienced advisors to counsel many who set personal financial goals within reach. Such goals like a home mortgage or college grants / loans, business loans or project developments make communities grow and flourish. The Financial Empowerment Center programs show how little steps make big strides with financial and tax preparation classes. Many programs offered by the center to help local business owners stay in business is a special saving accounts called an IDA (Independent Development Account). It offers owners the opportunity to save invested funds in hope of opening or expanding their business, by matching every dollar saved.
Newark Now continues to be a beacon of light by working with businesses and corporations in ways to better the health of Newark residents. In conjunction with Nestle and other interested parties, have created nutritional classes and workshops for mothers preventing obesity in their children. By offering these classes, the health benefits of nutritional meals in the home would lower the rate of Juvenile Diabetes as well as heart and respiratory ailments. It also hosts an array of events such as the annual Spirit Award which recognize individuals / organizations who saw a community need and fulfilled, free summer outdoor concerts and movies in the park as well as other recreational events. Prior to the start of school year, Newark Now offers free book bags and school supplies for needy students and provides free children coats, holiday gift baskets of much needed goods and household supplies over the holiday season. Truly Newark Now and their innovative programs are cherished blessings Mayor Cory Booker has put forth for a better environment for the city of Newark. A hopeful Utopia that would continue and prosper now and beyond.
This is Brian A. Madrid, That’s my story and I am sticking to it. For more information regarding Newark Now, please click on the Highlighted Tags throughout the article. Please feel free to subscribe/blog and you will be notified of new articles / comments posted via email Thanks for reading and your sharing.