COMMUNITY GROUP FINDS HOUSING, JOBS FOR POOR IN NEWARK
In the heart of an inner-city corridor of Newark that was gutted in the 1967 riots is a thriving $19 million supermarket that just passed its first anniversary. Nearby, inside a former Roman Catholic church, is the busy Priory Restaurant, complete with pianist.Both projects are run by Newark's New Community Corporation, one of the nation's largest nonprofit community development groups and a key factor in Newark's recent awards. The NCC was founded in 1968 by Msgr. William Linder as part of a community effort to rebuild the area destroyed by the riots. It employs 1,200 Newark residents. In addition to building 2,500 units of low-income housing, it operates five day-care centers (including one for children with AIDS), two employment centers that place 1,000 people a year, a nursing home, and an alternative grade school. The NCC also built a facility for homeless families with help from Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company. The new apartment building where 102 families were placed from welfare motels included on-site day care, social and health services, and a welfare office. Within a year, says NCC development director Ray Codey, 40 adults got jobs, enrolled their children in school, moved on to other housing, and went off welfare. The state is now trying to establish similar projects in four other counties. Where possible, NCC taps government and corporate funds. "We have the slingshots but nothing to put in them so we try to link up with the Goliaths," explains Mr. Codey. But he says that NCC also transfers earnings from its few money-making ventures, such as the restaurant and the market, into its nonprofit social projects. "Newark is doing better, but we've got a long way to go before we can truly proclaim it a livable city," says Mr. Codey.