Who We Are

Message from Our Founder & CEO

Twenty-three years ago, NJCDC was simply an idea on paper. But behind that idea was a powerful belief that good people could make a difference in the lives of our most vulnerable neighbors. It has been a remarkable journey as my colleagues and I have worked to carry out our mission of creating opportunities to transform lives in and around the City of Paterson.

This year the city of Paterson celebrates its 225th birthday. Unfortunately, the Paterson of today is radically different from its days as one of America's leading centers of commerce and industry. Once bustling mills have gone silent, and it's no longer a town that can offer work to anyone who wants it.

NJCDC is working to change the landscape in Paterson. We focus our work on a 95-block area we call the Great Falls Promise Neighborhood, with the majestic Great Falls of the Passaic River at its epicenter. Our bold vision is that all 8,000 children living or going to school in the Great Falls Promise Neighborhood graduate high school ready for college and a career.

In 2017, NJCDC is serving over 3,000 children and families daily through our pipeline of programs supporting our neighborhood with education, youth development, affordable housing, and community building initiatives. Additionally, we expanded our community revitalization work by completing the construction of Park Corner Plaza, which provides new affordable housing and retail space at the entry point to Great Falls National Historical Park. This last year we've begun a program to make repairs in the homes of the elderly and disabled, we've provided apartments to another 44 people who are now formerly homeless, and we're planning to open a new youth center within the next couple of months.

While we have accomplished a great deal, there is much more yet to be done. We don't plan to stop until each and every child in the Great Falls Promise Neighborhood reaches his or her full potential. The transformational change we are pursuing will take time, but because of committed friends and partners, change is happening every day.

Robert Guarasci

Support Our Work!
We at NJCDC are keenly aware of the challenging economic times. 93 cents of every dollar donated to NJCDC goes directly to programs which help families, teens, children and people with disabilities.