The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey recently awarded 17 grants totaling $1.95 million to improve the health and wellness of underserved and vulnerable populations in greater Newark and surrounding low income NJ communities. Of that sum, $1.2 million went to improve the mental health of adults and/or children.
NJ PAC was awarded funding in the amount of $81,057 to bring “Slut, the Play” to Newark. “Slut, the Play,” which deals with body shaming and sexual assault among teens, will be performed both during the day for Newark Public School students and at one evening or weekend performance for the general public. The Mental Health Association of Essex County will provide sessions in the schools and facilitate conversations about these difficult issues among students, parents, teachers, and other audience member at the performances themselves.
Main Street Counseling of West Orange, NJ, received a grant of $325,000 to significantly expand its individual and group counseling and teacher support services within the Newark Public Schools. Other awards went to address the needs of children and young adults coping with adverse childhood experiences and military families dealing with loved ones re-integrating into civilian life.
Two projects that support people with special needs were also awarded funding: the Newark Museum received a grant of $275,000 to build a handicapped accessible ramp at its front entrance, enabling people with physical disabilities, the elderly, and mothers with strollers to access the museum alongside family and friends. The ramp will also enable groups of children and adults with physical challenges to visit the museum.
Additional behavioral health funding went to NJCRI for Project Access ($51,688), a needle exchange project for intravenous drug users in Newark that also provides HIV and other testing, cessation support, primary care, health education, and referrals to specialty care.
Finally, two grants totaling $139,500 were awarded to combat homelessness in Newark (Bridges, Inc.) and Elizabeth (The Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless), and a grant of $127,335 went to Saint Barnabas Medical Center to establish a patient navigation program in its breast center.
Profile of The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey
Established in 1996 with the proceeds of the sale of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center to the Saint Barnabas Healthcare System, The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey is dedicated to reducing disparities in the provision of healthcare and serving the healthcare needs of vulnerable and underserved populations in greater Newark and in the Jewish community of MetroWest NJ. To this end, $135 million in grants have been awarded by the Foundation in its 20-year history.