News and Events

La Casa’s Youth In Motion program to begin in September

La Casa de Don Pedro’s Youth In Motion program offers FREE High School Equivalency courses and testing to prepare out of school youth to transition to college, trade school and the workforce. The Youth in Motion program begins in September and is open to Out-of-School Newark residents between the ages

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La Casa de Don Pedro’s Youth In Motion program offers FREE High School Equivalency courses and testing to prepare out of school youth to transition to college, trade school and the workforce. The Youth in Motion program begins in September and is open to Out-of-School Newark residents between the ages of 16-20. Contact Estefania Cevallos at 973-481-4713 to enroll.YIMFY17 Flyer.pptxfinal

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Festival de la Familia Celebrates Newark’s Diversity and History

La Casa de Don Pedro, in partnership with the City of Newark and Newark Celebration 350, held the 9th annual Festival de la Familia on Sunday, July 24th. Families, friends, local partner organizations and volunteers looking to lend a hand gathered on Broadway between Bloomfield Pl. & Broad St. for

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La Casa de Don Pedro, in partnership with the City of Newark and Newark Celebration 350, held the 9th annual Festival de la Familia on Sunday, July 24th. Families, friends, local partner organizations and volunteers looking to lend a hand gathered on Broadway between Bloomfield Pl. & Broad St. for the free, lively, and exciting event. View photos at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lacasadedonpedro.

 

Held in the heart of Newark’s Lower Broadway Community, Festival de la Familia celebrates Newark’s vibrant diversity and the strength of the community. DJ Francisco Morales opened with entertainment while Peruvian Dancers, NJPAC Hip Hop Institute students, Plena Dulce, Ritmo Tropical and the Yahaya Kamate African drummers all took the stage, offering just a glimpse of Newark’s ever-growing cultural diversity. Councilman Anibal Ramos, Deputy Mayor Jacqueline Quiles and Councilman Luis Quintana joined the festivities to offer their support for La Casa.

 

“La Familia es la base fundamental de un hogar. Cuidar, educar y fortalecer a la familia da resultados positivos y es digno de celebrar. Nos sentimos orgullosos de formar parte de la celebración del Festival la Familia y juntos alcanzar una mejor vida en nuestra comunidad.” –Vice Alcaldesa de Participación de la Comunidad Jacqueline Quiles

“Family is the fundamental base of the home. Caring, educating and strenghtening the families is worthy of celebration. We are proud to be part of Festival de la Familia and together strive for a better quality of life for our community.” said Jacqueline Quiles, the City of Newark’s Deputy Mayor of Community Engagement.

The street was lined with carnival games, a water slide, inflatable obstacle course, stilt walkers, karaoke and face-painting, among other family friendly activities. To encourage healthy living within the community, La Casa’s Chef Nelson Mejia and Essex County Freeholder President Britnee Timberlake offered cooking demonstrations to share their favorite recipes. Partner organizations like the Newark Public Library, FOCUS, the Newark Arts Council, among others, shared games and resources with families. Inspired by the Modern Heroics exhibition currently on view the Newark Museum, the museum’s sidewalk painting activity gave kids a chance to explore their creativity. Children mixed their own colors, painting with brooms and their hands to create a large-scale, collaborative art piece.

 

“We are thrilled to have been able to organize Festival de la Familia once again for our community. Thanks to our sponsors, partners, and a large pool of volunteers, hundreds of families and children of all ages came out to the streets to celebrate our diverse cultures in a positive, inclusive, and enjoyable way.” said Carrie Puglisi, La Casa’s Director of Program & Fund Development.

 

In addition to the fun and games, community partners and sponsors shared important information and resources about their organizations. The City of Newark sponsored a Voter Registration Drive to encourage political participation. UnitedHealth Care, CarePoint Health, Jewish Renaissance Navigator Program, and Horizon NJ Health brought their mobile units to offer a variety of free health screenings and resources while La Casa de Don Pedro provided free HIV testing.

 

Festival de la Familia is made possible by the support of its community partners, volunteers and sponsors. 2016 Sponsors include: M&T Bank, Newark Celebration 350, TD Bank, Valley National Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Rutgers University- Newark, PSE&G, Atlantic Federal Credit Union, North Jersey Federal Credit Union, CarePoint Health, Horizon NJ Health, United Healthcare and RWJBarnabas Health.

 

La Casa de Don Pedro has two remaining fundraising and community events to close out the 2016 Special Event Series. On September 22nd 2016, La Casa will host the 4th annual Burgers and Brew, a casual dinner to celebrate the end of the summer at McLoone’s Boathouse in West Orange. In October, La Casa will host the annual National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, a free event to raise awareness about the severity of HIV/AIDS and offer important resources and information for the community. Please contact Mariel Fernandez at mfernandez@lacasanwk.org for more information.

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9th Annual Festival de la Familia Comes to Lower Broadway July 24th

La Casa de Don Pedro, in partnership with the City of Newark and Newark Celebration 350, will host the 9th annual Festival de la Familia on Sunday July 24th. The free festival will take place from 12pm-5pm on Broadway between Bloomfield Pl. & Broad Street in Newark, NJ. Festival de

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La Casa de Don Pedro, in partnership with the City of Newark and Newark Celebration 350, will host the 9th annual Festival de la Familia on Sunday July 24th. The free festival will take place from 12pm-5pm on Broadway between Bloomfield Pl. & Broad Street in Newark, NJ.

Festival de la Familia will feature DJ Francisco Morales, performances by Yahaya Kamate African Dance and Drums Group; Plena Dulce; a Peruvian dance group; NJPAC Hip Hop Dance Group; and Ruben Figueroa’s Ritmo Tropical.

The family friendly festival will celebrate Newark’s diverse community and our city’s rich history. The street will be lined with carnival games, water rides, street performers and many other activities. Community Partner organizations such as the Newark Museum, Focus Hispanic Center for Community Development, The Newark Public Library, New Jersey Citizen Action, Black Alliance for Educational Options, and others will share activities and resources. La Casa’s Youth Family & Health Services Division, Horizon NJ Health, and the City of Newark’s Department of Health & Community Wellness will also provide free health screenings, and HIV testing.  A community resource tent will provide a variety of relevant information and services as well.

“For the past nine years Festival de la Familia has celebrated Newark’s cultural diversity. Events like these are so important because they bring families together and foster community pride. As we look back on our city’s history La Casa de Don Pedro is proud to have been a unifying force in the empowerment and development of our community. We are grateful for all of our partners, the City of Newark, Newark Celebration 350, our generous donors, and community partners that make this celebration possible,” said Carrie Puglisi, La Casa’s Director of Program & Fund Development.

Festival de la Familia is made possible by the support of our sponsors: Newark Celebration 350; TD Bank; M&T Bank; Rutgers University- Newark; Valley National Bank; JP Morgan Chase; PSE&G; Atlantic Federal Credit Union, North Jersey Federal Credit Union, United Healthcare, Horizon NJ Health; RWJ Barnabas Health; CarePoint Health; Lower Broadway Neighborhood Association.

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SCOTUS Immigration Decision Town Hall

Town Hall on Recent Supreme Court Immigration Ruling to be held This Thursday, June 30th in Newark On Thursday, June 30, 6pm-8pm, in partnership with Hispanic Federation and Telemundo, La Casa de Don Pedro will host a Town Hall panel discussion on the recent Supreme Court decision that halted the

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Town Hall on Recent Supreme Court Immigration Ruling to be held This Thursday, June 30th in Newark

On Thursday, June 30, 6pm-8pm, in partnership with Hispanic Federation and Telemundo, La Casa de Don Pedro will host a Town Hall panel discussion on the recent Supreme Court decision that halted the expansion of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) & Deferred Action for Parents.  The discussion will be held at Rutgers University – Newark at the Paul Robeson Student Center, Essex Room, located at 350 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The panel will be moderated by MCOHA Executive Director Xiomara Guevara, Esq. and will include Senator Menendez’ State Director Frank Schultz, Esq., Sara Cullinane Esq. of Make the Road NJ, Nicole Miller Esq. of American Friends Service Committee, and Gregory Hodne, Deputy Director of Personal Development at La Casa de Don Pedro.

This town hall is a part of a tri-state effort with town halls taking place in Queens, New York and Danbury, Connecticut.

This is a free event. Guests are strongly encouraged to RSVP at 1 (866) 432-9832.

Since 2012, over 800,000 undocumented youth who were brought to the United States as children have been shielded from deportation and authorized to work in the US under Obama’s DACA program. In 2014, President Obama issued an executive order to expand DACA to allow parents of citizens or lawful permanent residents to apply for a program that would shield them from deportation and provide them with work permits. The program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), would have shielded upwards of 5 million people from deportation.

Following the SCOTUS’ decision to block the expansion of DACA, the panel discussion will shed light on what the ruling means and what it doesn’t mean for those benefiting from DACA since 2012 as well as others who may be impacted. The panel will also share legal rights, resources, discuss advocacy efforts in the face of an uncertain future.

La Casa de Don Pedro has been a leading advocate for immigration justice in Newark. Since 2000, La Casa’s has assisted over 5,300 immigrants in applying for US citizenship, petitioning for family reunification and acquiring green cards and citizenship. Following the SCOTUS decision to halt the expansion of DACA, La Casa remains committed to providing our community with immigration resources and education.

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La Casa de Don Pedro leads Foreclosure Crisis Press Conference with Sen. Bob Menendez

  On Friday June 24th, La Casa de Don Pedro joined Senator Bob Menendez, The City of East Orange’s Property Maintenance Director Dwight Saunders who represented Mayor Lester Taylor, Members of East Orange’s City Council, Seton Hall Law Professor Linda Fisher and Essex County Freeholder Britnee Timberlake to discuss New Jersey’s  and the nation’s

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On Friday June 24th, La Casa de Don Pedro joined Senator Bob Menendez, The City of East Orange’s Property Maintenance Director Dwight Saunders who represented Mayor Lester Taylor, Members of East Orange’s City Council, Seton Hall Law Professor Linda Fisher and Essex County Freeholder Britnee Timberlake to discuss New Jersey’s  and the nation’s ongoing foreclosure crisis. With a backdrop of a vacant, abandoned property that was once a stately home, Senator Menendez, ranking member of the Senate’s subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development, announced the Preventing Abandoned Foreclosures and Preserving Communities Act of 2016 to address NJ’s foreclosure and zombie property crisis.

New Jersey has the highest foreclosure rate in the country and the most vacant zombie properties. A zombie property refers to a property that the homeowner has moved out of and abandoned after the mortgage servicer files for foreclosure. The mortgage servicer then fails to complete the foreclosure and abandons the property without informing the homeowner or city. The zombie property remains in a legal limbo where the homeowner is unknowingly still financially responsible for property and the city still responsible for its taxes and maintenance.

Menendez’ legislation would require mortgage servicers to inform borrowers that they are financially responsible for the taxes, assessments and other fees throughout the foreclosure process but can remain in their home during the foreclosure process. The mortgage servicer would be required to notify both the borrower and municipality of the foreclosure and where the property is located before walking away.

La Casa’s Director of Fund Development Carrie Puglisi and Senior Housing Counselor Sofi Cordero spoke about La Casa’s Foreclosure Prevention Program and Housing Counselling Services. Both programs are designed to mitigate foreclosures and zombie properties as well as provide resources and opportunities to potential homeowners.

Foreclosures continue to affect every community throughout our state. They threaten family stability, cause a multitude of financial and socio-emotional crises, and impact the quality of life for everyone. Vacant, zombie, and foreclosed properties are blighting our communities, particularly in low-income neighborhoods where neglect is rampant. The crisis has set back much of progress La Casa de Don Pedro has made in its neighborhood revitalization efforts.  For every home we restore on a block, three more become vacant.  The proposed legislation would help ensure more homeowners remain in their homes – throughout the course of their foreclosure process. Mortgage services would be more accountable to homeowners, and there would be more clarity on legal and financial responsibilities of already abandoned foreclosures,” said Puglisi.

La Casa, among the other housing advocates present on Friday, pledged their support of Menendez’ Preventing Abandoned Foreclosures and Preserving Communities Act and will continue advocating for homeowners and providing resources to families facing foreclosure. Following Menendez’ conference on the Puerto Rican debt crisis on June 15th held at La Casa de Don Pedro Friday’s Foreclosure Crisis press conference is the second event this month that Sen. Menendez has held in partnership with La Casa.

For all press inquiries, please contact Mariel Fernandez at mfernandez@lacasanwk.org.

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La Casa & Sen. Bob Menendez host Puerto Rican Debt Crisis Conference

Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) held a press conference on Monday, June 13 at La Casa de Don Pedro to discuss the Puerto Rico’s $72 billion debt crisis and the oppose the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, or PROMESA. Several elected officials and representatives from local Puerto Rican advocacy joined

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Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) held a press conference on Monday, June 13 at La Casa de Don Pedro to discuss the Puerto Rico’s $72 billion debt crisis and the oppose the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, or PROMESA. Several elected officials and representatives from local Puerto Rican advocacy joined Menendez on Monday to voice their opposition to PROMESA.

Senator Menendez has been a vocal critic and opponent of PROMESA since its inception. In March, Menendez introduced The Puerto Rico Stability and Recovery Package, a legislative package that would enable Puerto Rico to restructure all of its debt and avoid full financial collapse. Menendez’ proposed legislative package includes: the creation of a Financial Stability and Reform Board in Puerto Rico to oversee the restructuring process; changes to the island’s Medicaid program that would allow for federal reimbursement and thus provide stable, sustainable funding; an equitable tax credit treatment that would give Puerto Rican’s access to Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC).

NJ State Senator Nellie Pons aligned herself with Menendez at Monday’s conference and in a statement issued yesterday, stating “The PROMESA bill falls far short of providing the ‘promise’ to Puerto Rico that the island and its residents deserve. As chair of the Latino Legislative Caucus, I strongly support the effort of Senator Menendez to advance a more compassionate and responsible plan that offers Puerto Rico an opportunity to restructure its debt but also maintains the ability of the duly-elected representatives of the island to make decisions on behalf of those they represent.”

PROMESA passed in the House with overwhelming bipartisan support last Thursday and is expected to do so in the Senate later this month. With Puerto Rico’s next debt payment due July 1st, Menendez plans to bring his proposed amendments to PROMESA to the senate floor and gain support of advocacy groups and elected officials.

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LBNA’s Lower Broadway Live

The Lower Broadway Neighborhood Association is kicking off NeighborWorks Week with its first Lower Broadway Live event tomorrow Saturday June 4th from 5-8pm on Crane St. between Webster & Broadway. Join us for a Latin Dance Party with lessons provided by Smiling David’s Dance Studio! Tomorrow’s Latin Dance Party will

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The Lower Broadway Neighborhood Association is kicking off NeighborWorks Week with its first Lower Broadway Live event tomorrow Saturday June 4th from 5-8pm on Crane St. between Webster & Broadway. Join us for a Latin Dance Party with lessons provided by Smiling David’s Dance Studio!

Tomorrow’s Latin Dance Party will be the first of LBNA’s Lower Broadway Live event series that will take place throughout the summer. In an effort to generate positive energy and celebrate the Lower Broadway community, the Lower Broadway Live series will feature artistic and cultural events and highlight all of resources that Lower Broadway has to offer.LBL_Poster

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La Casa Hosts Community Development Spotlight on June 2nd

Spotlight On: Housing Counseling in New Jersey Statewide housing association brings Community Development Spotlight series to Newark                                                   WHAT:     As part of its Community Development Spotlight series, the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network) is partnering with La Casa de Don Pedro to host a

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Spotlight On: Housing Counseling in New Jersey
Statewide housing association brings Community Development Spotlight series to Newark

                                                 

WHAT:     As part of its Community Development Spotlight series, the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network) is partnering with La Casa de Don Pedro to host a forum on housing counseling. Housing counseling is a service offered by several New Jersey nonprofit organizations to assist individuals and households in the areas of buying, keeping and refinancing homes. The Network’s Community Development Spotlight series highlights various aspects of community development in effort to raise awareness and celebrate the achievements of the sector.

WHO:       Staci Berger, president and chief executive officer of the Network; Raymond Ocasio, executive director of La Casa de Don Pedro; AnneMarie Uebbing, director of the Community Planning and Development Newark Field Office for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. A panel discussion will feature housing counselors from the Affordable Housing Alliance, the Paterson Task Force, and La Casa de Don Pedro. There will also be a presentation by Valley National Bank on homeowner mortgage products.

 

WHERE:  La Casa de Don Pedro located at 75 Park Ave. in Newark.

 

WHEN:     Thursday, June 2.

 

TIME:       10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

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La Casa centers will be closed on Monday May 30

Please note that all of La Casa’s offices & centers will be closed on Monday, May 30 in observance of Memorial Day. Regular hours & programs will resume on Tuesday, May 31.

La Casa Celebrates Early Childhood Education

Newark, NJ (May 4, 2016) – Community, business and political leaders and advocates gathered at NJPAC on Wednesday, April 27th for La Casa de Don Pedro’s annual cocktail reception La Casa Es Su Casa. With this year’s theme being “The Early Childhood Education Journey,” La Casa celebrated the successes of

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La Casa’s four year old student Paola Hernandez surprised Mayor Baraka with a Spanish and English greeting. Photo courtesy of Anthony Alvarez Photography

Newark, NJ (May 4, 2016) – Community, business and political leaders and advocates gathered at NJPAC on Wednesday, April 27th for La Casa de Don Pedro’s annual cocktail reception La Casa Es Su Casa. With this year’s theme being “The Early Childhood Education Journey,” La Casa celebrated the successes of its preschool program and honored local leaders and advocates who have fought to make quality Early Childhood Education accessible for all of Newark’s children.

Dr. Lauren Wells, Newark’s Chief Education Officer, was the evening’s emcee. This year’s honorees included NJ Senator Teresa M. Ruiz, chair of the Senate Education Committee; Nancy Rivera, Newark’s first Early Childhood Education Director, Barbara Reisman; Former Executive Director of The Schumann Fund for New Jersey and current Senior Advisory to the Maher Charitable Foundation; as well as the Education Law Center and Advocates for Children of New Jersey.

The event featured a retrospective photo exhibit that chronicled La Casa’s journey from a small dual-language daycare center founded in 1974 to the robust, fully accredited preschool program that it is today. A “pop-up” classroom, fully equipped with dual-language educational materials, gave guests an interactive experience with the preschool program. A former student and her mother and the current president of the Parents Committee gave testimonial speeches about their experiences with La Casa over the years.

Remarks by Dr. Wells, Mayor Baraka, Executive Director Ray Ocasio and each of the honorees stressed the importance of early childhood education as a foundation for future success and the need to continue expanding such programs.

La Casa de Don Pedro has been providing Newark families with free, dual language, high quality early childhood education for over 40 years. La Casa’s three centers serve over 255 children annually and are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). 90% of La Casa’s students come from low income households and almost 50% are living in extreme poverty. Despite these socioeconomic challenges, La Casa’s students have consistently scored above average on both national and statewide assessments.

However, statewide budget cuts are threatening the quality of La Casa’s program. Just this past year, La Casa was forced to cut its technology and educational materials budget by over 50% and teachers have had to limit educational field trips to centers like the Museum of Natural History, the Liberty Science Center and New Jersey’s local farms. As a result, La Casa’s students are missing out on formative educational experiences and opportunities. Knowing preschool is widely known as a means to help level the playing field and close the achievement gap, La Casa made a special appeal to guests and sponsors to support its Early Childhood Education program.

Donate to our Early Childhood Education Program here

La Casa es su Casa was made possible by support from sponsors: PSE&G, TD Bank, JP Morgan Chase, M&T Bank, Prudential, Verizon, Atlantic Federal Credit Union, Horizon NJ Health, McCarter & English, LLP, McManimon Scotland & Baumann, LLC, North Jersey Federal Credit Union, PNC Bank, Rutgers University – Newark, and WithumSmith+Brown.

View photos from the event here 

La Casa es Su Casa is the first of four fundraising event in 2016. Next is “Festival de la Familia,” in July followed by “Burgers & Brew” in September and National Latino AIDS Awareness Day in October.  To learn more visit: http://www.lacasanwk.org/news-and-events/2016-special-events-series/ or call 973-482-8312.

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