LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Livingston-based non-profit organizations ARC of Essex County and the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) were among 36 non-profit community organizations and 13 Essex County municipalities that received part of a total of approximately $5 million from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program this week.

According to Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr., who presented a $30,000 check to ARC of Essex County and a $9,875 check to NCJW, government-sponsored projects for these two organizations include an handicap-accessible vehicle and a Job Readiness Program, respectively.

Pictured above with DiVincenzo are Frank Cinque from The Arc of Essex; Essex County Director of Economic Development, Training and Employment Anibal Ramos, Jr.; and Heather Comstock from The Arc of Essex. Also pictured with DiVincenzo and Ramos are Cindy Charney and Lisa Bayer from NCJW.

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The CDBG and ESG programs are funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered by the Essex County Division of Housing and Community Development.

“Programs supported through the CDBG and ESG programs are direct investments to provide services that enhance our quality of life and help stabilize our neighborhoods by modernizing our infrastructure and supporting programs that assist vulnerable populations,” said DiVincenzo. “These federal grants enable us to upgrade our sidewalks and roads, enhance handicap access, address mental health needs, support food pantries, and stimulate the overall development in our communities.”

A total of $5,037,376 was allocated by the Federal Government to Essex County through the CDBG and ESG programs. During the program, it was announced that $4,694,220 was being awarded today while another $343,156 would be awarded later in the year.

“The beauty of the CDBG and ESG programs is their ability to fund a broad array of projects without affecting the budgets of the County, municipalities or organizations receiving the grants,” said Ramos. “This is a great example of a tax relief program that benefits all County citizens.”

Municipalities and non-profit organizations must meet specific criteria established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to be eligible for grant funding. These funds have no impact on the county budget and cannot be used as revenue in the county’s operating budget.