The City of Hoboken today committed to distributing $2 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for local non-profit organizations, with a little under half going towards the Hoboken Community Center and Hoboken Food Pantry.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The HCC and HFP will receive the largest allocation of funds, at a total of $938,194, following the city council’s approval on Wednesday.
These funds will help replace the center’s HVAC system and assist the pantry as it continues to feed food-insecure residents.
“Hoboken witnessed firsthand how critical of a lifeline our nonprofit community was to residents during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in a statement.
“This funding will help ensure they can continue their services to those in need in the months to come. Thank you to Senator Cory Booker, Senator Bob Menendez, and Congressman Albio Sires for strongly advocating for these additional CDBG resources through the CARES Act.”
The HCC, at 1301 Washington St., provides an affordable housing program that serves 96 low-income men and houses the Hoboken Food Pantry.
The building’s HVAC system requires repair work to ensure the long-term operation of the affordable housing program, which currently receives no project-based housing vouchers, is funded through rental income, social service agency support, and private donations.
“The Hoboken Community Center appreciates the ongoing support of Mayor Bhalla, the City Council, and the generosity of the entire Hoboken community,” said HCC Board Member and Secretary Tony Tomarazzo.
“We are grateful for the funding that will be used to strengthen the HCC’s decades-long commitment to serving our community, including the Hoboken Food Pantry, which has served over 15,000 bags of groceries and meals since March 2020.”
Of the remaining funds, the city awarded $505,897 to several nonprofits, including the Hoboken Shelter, True Mentors, HOPES, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Hudson County, Community Lifestyles, Act Now Foundation Inc., Hoboken Family Planning Inc., Computers 4 People, and the Jubilee Center.
$500,000 will also go to the Hoboken Housing Authority for boiler replacements and ancillary equipment.
“Many local nonprofits came to the rescue to help residents at their greatest time of need. They stepped up in meaningful ways during the pandemic to provide critically important services and resources to individuals and families as donations to nonprofits plummeted,” added Menendez.
“Whether it was providing meals to the hungry or housing to those who couldn’t afford rent or educational support for students or mental health services to those who struggled with isolation, New Jersey couldn’t have made it through the pandemic without the nonprofit community’s contributions. I am pleased that Mayor Bhalla is prioritizing the federal funding to support local nonprofits so they can continue serving the people of Hoboken.”
The funding comes in the form of Community Development Block Grants with additional CARES Act money allocated to the City through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“Nonprofits offered much-needed support to New Jerseyans throughout the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to provide essential services to our state’s residents,” noted Booker.
“Though we have begun to recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic, many families and individuals still need assistance, and this federal funding will allow Hoboken’s nonprofit community and public agencies to maintain their critical operations helping those most in need.”
The City partners with a wide range of public agencies and nonprofit organizations to provide vital community programs and opportunities for public facility rehabilitation.
“Local nonprofits and public agencies have stepped up to respond to the needs of our communities throughout the pandemic,” stated Sires.
“Without organizations like the Hoboken Community Center and the Hoboken Food Pantry, many of our neighbors would lose access to affordable housing, food, and other staples. I am thrilled that we were able to secure CDBG funding for the nonprofits that have helped so many through the pandemic and will continue to support our community as we recover.
More information on the program can be found here.