Newark's New Community Hangs Tough in Pandemic
It’s been tough going for nonprofits during the pandemic, but in Newark, one that provides essential housing and healthcare is hanging in.
New Community Corp., Newark’s biggest community development corporation, provides housing, healthcare and childcare to Newark, among other services. Richard Cammarieri, director of community engagement, said child care and education in the age of Covid have proved to be a test.
“One of the biggest challenges not just for New Community but for all the groups, the ones who have early learning childhood centers, we have two of those, and that’s a big challenge,” he said, “figuring out how to do that with the children and the distancing and the masks.”
Some New Community staff were furloughed at the height of the pandemic, he said, but were called back a few weeks ago. Cammarieri said 60% of the nearly 500 employees are local residents -- many of whom have utilized NCC services before.
He said donations have helped with enforcing the safety precautions surrounding Covid. “The sanitizers, health care, masks -- we were fortunate we got donations,” he said. “Rutgers’ medical school, they donated several hundred masks to us both for adults and children.”
He said teamwork has also helped during this crisis. “We have a network called the Newark Community Development Network which continued to meet and we had weekly calls with the directors of the various CDC’s,” he said, “just kind of comparing notes, where people are getting stuff, and that was helpful too.”
New Community was founded by the late Monsignor William J. Linder in response to the Newark riots in 1967.