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Community Building

Since 1994, NJCDC has taken a lead in rebuilding and strengthening our community through the empowerment of, and in partnership with, those who live and work in our neighborhood.

Based on the pioneering philosophy of the Harlem Children's Zone, we have adopted a place-based approach to doing our work. The area we focus on is 95 blocks, with Paterson's Great Falls at the center—a neighborhood of about 14,000 people that we call the Great Falls Neighborhood. Most importantly, there are 8,000 students who either live or go to school in this neighborhood, and our overarching objective is to work with them and their families to provide support from birth through high school, college, and a career.

To this end, our Community Outreach department engages local residents and business owners to care for and speak out on behalf of our shared neighborhood through a variety of initiatives. NJCDC facilitates an active Community Advisory Board, which is made up of representatives from throughout the neighborhood. We also facilitated a two-year-long resident-led planning process, which resulted in the Great Falls Neighborhood Plan, released in March 2023.


We carry out neighborhood clean-ups to revitalize our neighborhood. We build playgrounds and gardens to provide our youth with safe places to play, learn, and grow. We worked with community stakeholders and residents to get Paterson's Great Falls recognized as a National Historical Park, and continue to work with residents and the National Park Service to promote tourism and economic investment in our neighborhood. We host workshops and open houses, which provide resources and support to assist families in bettering their lives, and social activities, like family movie nights.


We also created the Neighborhood Help Center, a one-stop shop for assistance on a broad range of topics that concern neighborhood residents, ranging from housing to education to immigration.

NJCDC also operates the City of Paterson's Financial Empowerment Center, which provides free, one-on-one financial counseling to all Paterson residents.

For more information: Please contact our Director of Community Outreach at 973.413.1641 or by sending us a message

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of Every Dollar Donated goes directly to our Programs & Services

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Children and Families Served Daily

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Affordable/Supportive Housing Units Built


Support Our Work!

We at NJCDC are keenly aware of the challenging economic times. 92 cents of every dollar donated to NJCDC goes directly to programs which help families, teens, children and people with disabilities.

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