WAYNE, NJ – On Friday, October 25, 2019, the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders held their third annual Non-Profit Summit at the Public Safety Academy in Wayne, NJ. The summit provided non-profits and faith-based communities that operate within Passaic County with resources and guides to aid their organizations.
“It’s essential for public facing non-profits to know how to connect their customers to the services available from county government,” stated Freeholder Director John Bartlett. “Hosting the non-profit summit every year gives us the opportunity to share that information with the people who need it most.”
The summit's keynote speaker, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, who is the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, spoke about the various programs offered under the Department.
"The Department of Community Affairs was created to support the 565 municipalities in New Jersey," explained the Lieutenant Governor. The Department provides funding through grant programs to non-profits and faith based organizations to support various community needs, including the Neighborhood Preservation Program, which after close to ten years of being dormant, has had its funding restored by Governor Phil Murphy.
Among the various grant programs Oliver talked about, the New Jersey Mortgage Finance Agency was one she highlighted, under which the first time home buyer program has been restored, where residents who have not owned a home in the past three years, can apply for assistance through the program. It includes housing counseling, discounted interest rates, among other amenities. One of the goals of the Lieutenant Governor is to increase home ownership in the state, which would help combat the wealth gap and generational poverty.
Moreover, she reminded non-profit representatives that it is not just the big cities that require assistance. “There is poverty and disadvantage in every single one of our counties… so do not think that the state is not paying attention wherever it exists.”
Lieutenant Governor Oliver also spoke of the upcoming 2020 Census. Many of the programs that the Lieutenant Governor mentioned receive funding based on how many people are in the state. She explained, “If we do not effectively count every person in New Jersey, that’s money off the table for us, not just at the state level, but at the county level and the municipal level.” She added that federal funding for educational institutions is dependent upon what their population status is. She highlighted that people are hesitant to give personal information, and reassured that the census is an anonymous process, and the information will remain confidential. Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh, who attended the summit, also re-emphasized the importance of the 2020 Census.
The summit also included tables from various organizations and programs both offered by the county and independent ones. Additionally, attendees had the opportunity to go to break out sessions, where they received in depth presentations of various county departments and services, including the Board of Social Services, the Prosecutor's Office, County Clerk's Office, Human Services and the Sheriff's Department.
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