Rockaway’s Project KIND, AmeriCorps Partner To Help Homeless

Norwescap’s AmeriCorps service team completes a project in honor of Martin Luther King Day each year, and 2022 continued the tradition. This year the team partnered with Rockaway-based Project KIND, an organization focused on outreach for people experiencing homelessness, enabling the two non-profits to meet their mutual goal of assisting individuals and families facing poverty in New Jersey.

 

On Saturday, January 22, a Norwescap team of 10 AmeriCorps members, along with two staff members and a few family members, volunteered at Project KIND’s Logistics Center in Rockaway for several hours, packing more than 100 Outreach Kits: large Ziploc bags filled with food items and toiletries, donated by Norwescap’s Food Bank. Norwescap donated hand warmers and sleeping bags for those in need as well.

 

The Outreach Kits will be distributed to people experiencing homelessness when Project KIND’s outreach team hits the streets of Morris and Essex counties.

 

Yolanda Marrero, an AmeriCorps member in her second year of service with Norwescap, took the lead on selecting and coordinating the MLK service project. She explained, “This project is important to me because the work of Project KIND, like Norwescap’s work, is really about kindness, love, and compassion. Anyone can become homeless. All people need is a helping hand or act of kindness to give them hope.”

 

Mark Valli, Chief Executive Officer of Norwescap, added, “Norwescap’s AmeriCorps program and our awesome AmeriCorps members have allowed us to dramatically expand our services in the areas of career readiness/job training, financial empowerment, and working one-on-one with program participants. Just as important, they have energized our volunteer efforts and helped create exciting new service projects on important days like the Martin Luther King holiday. AmeriCorps is truly transformative, both for the participants spending a year or two with us, and for Norwescap.”

 

Originally established in 1965, Norwescap has evolved into a multi-million dollar nonprofit organization providing services to over 30,000 individuals annually in Morris, Hunterdon, Warren, Somerset and Sussex counties. The organization offers a comprehensive array of services that support and empower people with low to moderate income, helping them move away from the crisis of poverty and towards a future where they can thrive. Norwescap’s programs address immediate needs and build strategies for long term success, focusing on education, employment, financial empowerment, health and nutrition, housing and community development, and volunteerism and civic engagement. For more information, visit www.norwescap.org.

 

By building a support system network, Project KIND seeks to create opportunities, and inspire and engage the community to share in the journey of those in need who are working to overcome life’s challenges. Project KIND builds support systems in two ways. They address the immediate needs of weather-appropriate clothing and food. They then assist a select few to move from homeless to housed with assisted programs for job placement, housing assistance, and mental health services. For more information, visit www.projectkind123.org/

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