Thanks to the Victoria Foundation Fund, the residents of Harmony House, New Community’s transitional housing facility for homeless families, have received additional support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
New Community applied for and received a $10,000 grant from Victoria Foundation to support its work at Harmony House during the pandemic.
The Victoria Foundation Fund provided the grant money to New Community in May to purchase food and supplies for Harmony House, expand mental health care and buy cleaning supplies.
The grant money helped with the purchase of a variety of food and supplies, including personal protective equipment (PPE), for Harmony House and each family was provided with a $100 ShopRite gift card so they could purchase items they wanted and needed.
“We chose the gift cards to ShopRite because it gives them a choice,” said NCC Chief Financial Officer Elizabeth Mbakaya. “Harmony House has received a lot of support throughout the pandemic. But having their own choice was more powerful than getting them food and distributing it or buying them something that we think they want.”
Harmony House families received the gift cards toward the middle of the month when other assistance like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) may be depleted.
“We waited until the middle of the month when clients really need food the most. They came in handy,” said Harmony House Director Yonette Fredericks. “The families are really appreciative of it.”
Harmony House is a transitional housing program with the primary goal of helping families move from homelessness to permanent housing and from dependency to self-sufficiency. With the capacity to house 102 families in individual apartment units and a host of on-site social services, Harmony House offers stability to families facing seemingly insurmountable barriers and enables them to restore their lives.
Victoria Foundation’s mission is to improve the lives of children and families in Newark and to protect water resources and preserve open space statewide.
Photos courtesy of Yonette Fredericks.