News and Events

La Casa’s Executive Director Featured on Cablevision’s Meet the Leaders

Ray Ocasio was recently featured on Cablevision’s Meet the Leaders. CLICK HERE to view the segment.

Lower Broadway Opens Up “My Front Porch”

Coverage courtesy of The Newark Times This Saturday, while Mayor Baraka was unveiling the Better Block: Bergen Street Edition, La Casa de Don Pedro and the Lower Broadway Neighborhood Association opened their My Front Porch initiative on Crane Street with food, music, activities, and general community building. The event highlighted

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Coverage courtesy of The Newark Times

This Saturday, while Mayor Baraka was unveiling the Better Block: Bergen Street Edition, La Casa de Don Pedro and the Lower Broadway Neighborhood Association opened their My Front Porch initiative on Crane Street with food, music, activities, and general community building. The event highlighted a project commencing NeighborWorks week, “a national week of community engagement that celebrates neighborhood change and brings awareness to community revitalization efforts.” Through ongoing activities in this new public space – starting with an open mic today, June 10th at 6:00 PM- the organization is inviting neighbors to connect in the outdoor recreation area.

The Lower Broadway Neighborhood Association is a community organization promoting resident involvement and development in the Lower Broadway area. Since 2012 they have been a positive force for community engagement, bringing in local activists like Yolanda Vann.

“LBNA is kind of evolving and changing. When it first came about it was a collection of block associations and I think right now we’re kind of seeing that it’s bigger than that.” Vann said, “We all represent our own little neighborhood within the neighborhood but come together to see what kind of change we can effect, whether it be knowing our neighbors a little better, or safety, to just doing things that people would enjoy.”

Vann thought of the idea My Front Porch after a NeighborWorks Community Leadership Institute training. She has bought some food from a restaurant and was sitting on the curb to eat it when a man invited her into a public garden she thought was private behind a different restaurant. “Why can’t we have a place like this?” she asked herself.

Together with The Lost Tribes Zulu Nation, the Rutgers Office of Community Partnerships, architects of NJ NOMA , local civic organizations No Free Time Inc. and the Columbus Homes Restoration Committee and a little luck they were able to find and clear a vacant lot and create a space with a stage, furniture, and even a fountain. What was most impressive was the true community nature of the project: local residents and businesses stepped up in a big way to lend a hang clearing the lot, constructing furniture, and moving reclaimed materials. “Most of the things there came from somewhere- the shop class from Barringer made the furniture and the stage, everything was material sourced from somewhere. Things fall through but somehow we ended up seeing some shipping pallets from down the street. There are a lot of little things and places we don’t even realize are there.”

Keep updated on on-going events at 57 Crane Street by following Lower Broadway on Facebook. If you would like to volunteer or or share ideas for My Front Porch, contact lowerbroadwaynewark@gmail.com!
Vann is hopeful that this will be a positive neighborhood force. “Most of the people here live in apartments. This is everybody’s place to be—when it comes to multipurpose space it’s something that we all need.”

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La Casa Responds to Newark’s Municipal ID Announcement

Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka made an unprecedented announcement last week that will provide greater access to vital services and resources to Newark residents. Newark’s new Municipal ID Program is set to pilot July 1st and open citywide August 1st. A Municipal ID program is one way cities across the

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Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka made an unprecedented announcement last week that will provide greater access to vital services and resources to Newark residents. Newark’s new Municipal ID Program is set to pilot July 1st and open citywide August 1st.

A Municipal ID program is one way cities across the country such as New Haven, San Francisco, New York City, Trenton, and Asbury Park are responding to the delay in federal immigration reform. With a municipal ID, thousands of undocumented immigrants, as well as others who lack adequate identification such as seniors, people with disabilities, independent youth, formerly-incarcerated individuals, the homeless, and transgender people, will have proof of identity, residency, access to cultural institutions and schools within Newark, allowing them to interact with city agencies, local authorities, and open bank accounts.

La Casa de Don Pedro applauds Mayor Baraka’s decision to keep our city’s doors open, encourage civic engagement, and extend democracy to those often excluded from the process. We’ve been active on the immigration front for more than fifteen years and know well the challenges undocumented people face in accessing information and resources. Since we started our immigration services program we’ve helped close to 10,000 hopeful and eager immigrants realize their dreams with our supportive immigration services.

We specialize in helping people complete their applications for naturalization, petition for family reunification, acquire green cards, and assist young people applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status.  These legal services are coupled with a popular citizenship preparation course and English as a Second Language program.  The program is supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, The IOLTA Fund of New Jersey, and the Hispanic Federation. But the demand for our services is tremendous and with limited resources, there is only so much impact we can have.

Our country is unique because we have a tradition of welcoming people from around the world. It has given us tremendous advantage and has allowed us to be more entrepreneurial than any other nation. It is through our openness, not closeness, and the fact that we embrace change that has allowed the United States to possess the character that life is full of possibilities. All of us committed to the City of Newark should do our part to arm our newest residents with tools to help guide them to opportunities that enhance their quality of life, and ultimately all of our lives, and ensure they are active and engaged citizens.

Mayor Baraka’s decision is testament to his belief in an inclusive community that “we can all believe in.” Let’s work together to support the initiative, continue to bring Newark to positive light nationally, and lead the way on progressive immigration matters.

 

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Health Fair at Abington Avenue School

Join us for our free health fair today at Abington Avenue School, 209 Abington Avenue,  Newark. We will be offering free health, vision and oral screenings. CLICK HERE to view flyer.

Newark Community Groups to Celebrate NeighborWorks Week in Converted Lot

La Casa de Don Pedro and the Lower Broadway Neighborhood Association have transformed one of Newark’s vacant, unattractive lots into a vibrant, community gathering space. The new community space located at 57 Crane Street, called My Front Porch, will serve as a new home for free neighborhood activities this summer

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La Casa de Don Pedro and the Lower Broadway Neighborhood Association have transformed one of Newark’s vacant, unattractive lots into a vibrant, community gathering space. The new community space located at 57 Crane Street, called My Front Porch, will serve as a new home for free neighborhood activities this summer including an open mic, concerts led by residents, and youth reading activities. My Front Porch celebrates its launch this Saturday, June 6th from 12pm-3pm with free food, music, and activities.

The June 6th celebration also commences NeighborWorks Week, a national week of community engagement that celebrates neighborhood change and brings awareness to community revitalization efforts. Residents will continue to celebrate NeighborWorks Week at 57 Crane Street with “BeCOMe Community Open Mic” on Wednesday, June 10th at 6:00pm.

Planning for My Front Porch is ongoing. To share your ideas and volunteer, please contact lowerbroadwaynewark@gmail.com. Find the latest updates about the My Front Porch summer schedule of events and activities by checking the LBNA facebook page at www.facebook.com/BroadwayNewark.

 

 

 

 

 

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Occupy the Block – Garside & 4th Ave.

The Mayor is challenging the MEN of this City to stand with him in doing the following: Hold court on the designated blocks Open discussion about the City, its youth, and violence Engage with the community and play games (chess and cards) Shut down illegal activity *Women are welcome to

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The Mayor is challenging the MEN of this City to stand with him in doing the following:

  • Hold court on the designated blocks
  • Open discussion about the City, its youth, and violence
  • Engage with the community and play games (chess and cards)
  • Shut down illegal activity

*Women are welcome to participate and are encouraged to bring the men in their lives to these events.

Please bring your folding chairs, tables, and get ready for transformation.


Upcoming “Occupy the Block” events:

Wednesday, May 27th “Weequahic Ave. & Clinton Pl.”
Thursday, May 28th “Garside and 4th Ave.”
Saturday, May 30th “Vermont & Ricord St.”

*The action begins at 4:30 pm.

 

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Construction on Lower Broadway/Bloomfield Avenue Streetscape Project

Milling and paving of Lower Broadway/Bloomfield Avenue will affect parking on both sides of Broadway, from Gouverneur Street to Clay Street and both sides of Bloomfield Avenue, from Webster Street/Rowland Street to Broadway effective June 1st.  Milling will commence during night time hours between 6pm to 6am. Milling will take

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Milling and paving of Lower Broadway/Bloomfield Avenue will affect parking on both sides of Broadway, from Gouverneur Street to Clay Street and both sides of Bloomfield Avenue, from Webster Street/Rowland Street to Broadway effective June 1st

Milling will commence during night time hours between 6pm to 6am. Milling will take 2 nights. This schedule is contingent upon weather conditions. Please be mindful of overnight parking, it will be necessary to tow vehicles that are within the projected construction zone.

Paving will also take place during the night time hours between 6pm to 6 am. Paving will take 2 nights. Striping will immediately follow the paving efforts beginning Thursday, June 4th,  early morning. There will be paving in numerous areas on adjacent side streets in addition to Bloomfield Ave and Broadway.

Unfortunately any vehicles not complying with posted NO PARKING signage will be towed by Newark Police Dept. Be mindful of roadway conditions as there will be elevated manhole covers and changes in roadway elevations. Every effort will be made to minimize any inconvenience during the construction period.

Thanking you in advance for your patience and understanding.

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Saint Michael’s Medical Center fights for its future in Newark

CLICK HERE to read Health Talk: Saint Michael’s Medical Center fights for its future in Newark.

Strengthening Families Celebration a Great Success

Over 200 families enjoyed a fun filled and informative day at La Casa’s Youth, Family & Health Services & Family Success Centers Annual Strengthening Families Celebration “Planting Seeds, Blooming Families,” held on April 25th at New Community Corporation in Newark. La Casa proudly served as this year’s regional Strengthening Family’s

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Over 200 families enjoyed a fun filled and informative day at La Casa’s Youth, Family & Health Services & Family Success Centers Annual Strengthening Families Celebration “Planting Seeds, Blooming Families,” held on April 25th at New Community Corporation in Newark.

La Casa proudly served as this year’s regional Strengthening Family’s Celebration lead organizer, chairing the event and collaborating with the Essex County Network of Family Success Centers.

The annual event promotes community education and public awareness on the importance of positive child development, child health, parenting, safety, and the prevention of child maltreatment. To view pictures visit: CLICK HERE to view pictures from the event.

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Newark Becomes First Municipality in New Jersey to Issue Identification Cards

The City of Newark is the first municipality in NJ to issue identification cards to undocumented immigrants and other vulnerable communities. CLICK HERE to read press release.

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