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Featured Mini-Grantee | Garden State Community Development Corporation (GSCDC)

2024-05-28T09:08:29-04:00May 21st, 2024|

Respite for the Homeless

For over 25 years, Garden State Community Development Corporation (GSCDC) – a nonprofit organization – has worked to support low-income and homeless people in New Jersey.  This population typically includes women veterans, seniors, LGTBQ+, and people with a mental and/or medical health disability.

Garden State Community Development Corporation (GSCDC) provides street outreach to unsheltered homeless persons, Case Management Services, 2 Drop-in Centers, Rapid Re-Housing assistance and multiple Permanent Supportive Housing Programs for homeless persons with special needs.

The Hudson CASA Homeless Drop-in Center is located at 514 Newark Avenue in Jersey City.  The Drop-In Center provides a safe environment for unhoused people to gather in Jersey City during the weekdays between 9am and 4pm, before emergency shelters open in the evenings.  At the center, the underserved are connected to on-site case management and help with substance abuse, mental illness, nutrition, life skills and financial education, job placement and housing.


HealthierJC + Garden State Community Development Corporation (GSCDC)

The Drop-in Center contributes to building a Culture of Health by providing unhoused persons with the supplies and services they need to remain healthy, avoid injuries, and treat illness.

To support the Drop-in Center, the Garden State Community Development Corporation (GSCDC) has partnered with the Jersey City Department of Health & Human Services to provide security for patrons and volunteers.  And the HealthierJC Shower Van parks outside the facility three times a week. 

When awarding the mini-grant, HealthierJC recognized Garden State Community Development Corporation (GSCDC) for treating the homeless with compassion and finding permanent dwellings for unhoused Jersey City residents.  

How was the Mini-Grant Used?

The HealthierJC mini-grant was used to help fund Drop-in Center operations during the summer of 2023.  While typically open Monday-Friday, the funding enabled the center to expand its hours of operation to the weekends during the summer months.  Dollars were also allocated to publish information and distribute flyers promoting the center and extending a hand to the Jersey City homeless population.

The homeless who patronized the Drop-in Center were provided nutritional breakfasts and lunches, and health services.  These services included screenings and information on substance use, wellness, mental health, and disease management.  Each day, dozens of people were given clean clothing, hygiene kits, and access to showers.  Based on Drop-in Center sign-in sheets, approximately 300 individuals, primarily from Ward C benefited from the mini-grant awarded to the Garden State Community Development Corporation (GSCDC).


Making a Difference…

By providing for the immediate needs of unhoused residents and working together
with our community partners, Garden State CDC (GSCDC) is able to have a
real impact on people’s lives.”
— Maryanne Kelleher, Director of The Partnership for a HealthierJC


“The Drop-in Center was created in response to a critical need in our community for a safe place for homeless people to come to during the daytime,” said Susan Milan, GSCDC’s Director of Supportive Housing and Social Programs.

Milan said the center provides “a place where they can rest, have a warm drink and snack, a place where they can receive connections to vital social services.  Funding from Healthier JC helped to increase access to these needed services.”

The experience of one client is typical of how GSCDC helps unhoused persons day in and day out.  A frail senior citizen who had been evicted and living on the streets was immediately provided food and clothing. A case manager connected her to an emergency shelter, processed a permanent housing application, and enrolled the senior into the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP).  The caseworker also helped the woman find the critical documents she would need to apply for health care and mental health services she was entitled to.  This Jersey City resident is now permanently housed and is healthy, happy, and stable.

For more information visit Garden State Community Development Corporation.