By Susan Kramer-Mills, Executive Director
The good news is that there have been several Naming Donations made to the TCCDC for the plaques on the doors of the apartments. At this time, three donations have been received, totaling $35,000. Also the Mother’s Day Naming fundraiser brought in over $1400. While various churches and individuals have bestowed generous gifts toward the project as well.
The most frustrating thing is that the final decision about the HMFA Disaster Relief funds application keeps being put off. The TCCDC had hoped that a decision would be made by the end of May, but now it has been put off until the second week in July. This puts off the start date of construction as well.
During May, HMFA decided that the application for funding needed to come from a more experienced organization, such as Bergen County United Way and their housing development organization BCUW-Madeline Housing Partners LLC. This reflects the regulations from NJ HUD (Housing and Urban Development Department), which the New Brunswick HOME HUD funds also required. Thus, this meant that all the agreements and leases needed to be changed.
In the process of making the changes to all the documents by making BCUW-Madeline the main tenant on the leases and agreements, it became apparent that our service provider, Women Aware, Inc. – and BCUW-Madeline did not agree about the cost of the social services program. Unfortunately, this led to both organizations cancelling the agreement. However, in order for the HMFA application to be processed, a social service provider agreement had to be signed with some organization. Thankfully, Bergen County United Way has its own housing development arm, which is able to set up social service agreements too. So, they were able to adapt and provide a social service agreement and a plan to us which will be more cost effective for the Town Clock CDC. We are very sad, though, not to be working directly with Women Aware, although we will still be receiving referrals from them. Women Aware’s Executive Director and Board President have also expressed their regrets about the situation. All in all, we believe that this new solution with BCUW will be just as effective for empowering female victims of domestic violence to successfully leave the cycle of abuse.