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18th Annual Community Leadership Awards Call for Nominations

18th Annual Community Leadership Awards Call for Nominations

This fall, HANDS will celebrate creativity in all forms – the fuel driving Orange’s economic engine.  Join us for the 18th Annual Community Leadership Awards: Building Together.

HANDS is a unique neighborhood change organization that combines strategic redevelopment of deteriorated properties with comprehensive planning, advocacy, leadership development and community building. Our innovative methods yield impactful results. Collaboration is an essential ingredient to much of that success.

This year, our annual community leadership event will celebrate “Building Together” thinking, creativity and our community partners.

A Call for Nominations, HANDS Community Leadership Awards— HANDS is looking to honor community activists, community builders, entrepreneurs and innovators. If you know someone who would be perfect to receive and award, please take the time to complete the nomination form, Click Here. Thank you for your time!

The Community Leadership Awards: Building Together will be a festive evening to recognize the honorees, showcase local talent and a networking opportunity for area businesses to witness the great happenings in Orange, New Jersey. Attendees will include community leaders, government officials, business owners, the creative community in and around Orange and local residents interested in seeing a bright future for their community. Ticket prices range from $60 to $160 and sponsorship opportunities are available. Please contact Christine Jackson for more information at 973-678-3110 Ext. 8 or Christine@handsinc.org.

 

HANDS Introduces the new Hat City, Get Ready!

HANDS Introduces the new Hat City, Get Ready!

Hat City Kitchen Begins Major Upgrades — After Major Renovation Party

July 30th from 3pm to 6pm, 459 Valley Street in Orange, New Jersey – An exciting partnership with a nationally-recognized celebrity chef and a well-established music impresario will bring changes to a Valley Arts District mainstay.  For more than 7 years, Hat City Kitchen (HCK) provided great food, music, and drink; developed a distinct brand; and grew a regional following.   We are excited to announce sweeping updates that will enhance and expand the service offerings and make HCK a favorite destination for years to come.

“This partnership will bring food and entertainment to a whole new level.” said Luther Flurry, Executive Director of HANDS.  “and reflects HANDS’ continued commitment to the Valley.”

Beginning next week (July 31) Hat City Kitchen will close for renovations — with a grand re-opening in early October.  HCK will upgrade the acoustics and lighting, redesign the dining room, and launch a new menu.  With these changes, HCK will offer a better and more memorable customer experience.

Please join us Sunday, July 30th from 3pm to 6pm, 459 Valley Street in Orange, New Jersey for our Renovation Launch Party, featuring a Pre-Renovation Jam session to celebrate 7 years of HCK, meet our critically acclaimed, “Best of” chef, and learn more about the new “Hat City“!

About Hat City Kitchen: Formerly Ricci’s in the Valley, HANDS restored this local landmark, continuing the tradition of good food and music. In 2010 Hat City Kitchen was rated “Best New Restaurant” by New Jersey Monthly Critic’s Choice which is great publicity for a restaurant whose profits go back into the Valley Arts District revitalization activities.

About HANDS: Housing and Neighborhood Development Services (HANDS) Inc. works to make Orange an inclusive city where people can and do choose to live and work.  HANDS amplifies resident voices, finds consensus around local challenges and opportunities, and executes community-based solutions.  We redevelop deteriorated vacant homes for affordable homeownership, adaptively reuse pivotal former industrial and commercial buildings as mixed use developments, empower resident action, and engage in creative placemaking.  HANDS is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1986 and is a chartered affiliate of NeighborWorks® America.  For more details, visit www.HANDSinc.org or email info@HANDSinc.org.

National Night Out

National Night Out

This Tuesday, August 1st many communities and neighborhood block organizations will be coming together for National Night Out. Millions of neighbors will take part in events all around the country (and military bases worldwide) to celebrate the spirit of community camaraderie. There will be block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts, caravans and other community events that will highlight police-community partnerships, discussions, public safety tips, demonstrations, youth events, and much more. In Orange, NJ, block party cookouts are so popular, that the community police officers, local officials, and council people hop around from block to block to engage in conversations and demonstrations that encourage community spirit with local police. 

At HANDS, we like to think of the police as Ambassadors of Peace in #OrangeNJ. They are there for you and your family/children when you can’t get to them. That’s why we’re highlighting moments from the past year that showcase the best of what our police do. Thank you for being there when we most need help, protection, and most importantly, community spirit.

 

HANDS and The HUUB Working on Neighborhood Project Grants

HANDS and The HUUB Working on Neighborhood Project Grants

HANDS and The HUUB Working Together for Neighborhood Project Grants Initiative:

Do you have an idea that will bring people together, get to know your neighbors better, and make meaningful change in your community? Apply for a Neighborhood Project Grant to help make it happen! Click here to download the application. We are happy to answer any questions about the application! Sign up for Informational Grant Workshops For more info, click here. Informational grant workshops will be held July 12, July 20, August 7, and August 15 10am & 6pm each day, location: The HUUB at the First UU of Essex, 35 Cleveland St, Orange, NJ.

Orange is full of talented people with exciting ideas about how to make the city a better place. We are supporting resident-led projects in the Heart of Orange neighborhood to build community, cultivate neighborhood leadership, expand activities for youth, promote wellness and health and to more generally celebrate the diversity of people living in this city.

We are accepting applications from resident groups for projects in the Heart of Orange neighborhood. Groups may be long-standing, newly established or in the process of forming, and are not required to have non-profit or 501(c)(3) status.

Submitting an application is easy: Describe a project to strengthen your community that can be carried out from July-November 2017 and provide a budget of up to $500.

We look for projects that: are clear and thoughtful; address important community concerns; contribute to building stronger communities through neighbors working together; and result in concrete and sustainable improvements.

Applications are accepted until September 1, 2017

Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis beginning in early July.

These grants are NOT for: individuals; for-profit projects; businesses; organizations with paid staff; religious, fraternal, and partisan organizations; projects affiliated with staffed organizations; groups that have received Neighborhood Project Grants in the last year. We also do not fund the following: rent, utilities, web hosting, web development, 501(c)(3) incorporation fees, salaries, speaker honorariums, and computer equipment.

Contact Charlie Wirene at 973-674-0010, ext. 1, or OrangeHUUB@gmail.com to ask a question or request an application.

The Heart of Orange is bound by Main St, Scotland Rd, Central Ave and Oakwood Ave.

HANDS and Corporate Partners Work Together to Grow Economic Development in Orange NJ

HANDS and Corporate Partners Work Together to Grow Economic Development in Orange NJ

HANDS is pleased to announce receipt of a $1.5 million grant award from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) Program which will support the Heart of Orange Job Training Center and the construction of the Valley Gateway Center. Both projects will work to strengthen neighborhood leadership, community organizing capacity, foster creative businesses, and local arts.  HANDS will develop a vacant, blighted site adjacent to the Highland Avenue NJ Transit commuter rail station with a new 2,800 square foot building to house a Business Incubator for “creative enterprises”. The building, in a park-type setting, will be the Gateway to the Valley Arts District. The grant also supports coaching and assistance to Orange entrepreneurs and supports nonprofits arts organizations in the Valley Arts District.  The new building will augment the Highland Avenue Station rehabilitation underway by the City of Orange.

HANDS will also rehabilitate a long-vacant and deteriorating commercial building, located in the Heart of Orange neighborhood, into a job training center for young adults learning construction trades. In conjunction with YouthBuild Newark, trainees will help rehabilitate the Center building as part of their training and once that is complete, help rehabilitate chronically vacant and deteriorated housing in the neighborhood. “This project is another example of HANDS helping community members plan, shape, and improve their own neighborhood.  It will raise the quality of community life and provide career and education alternatives to local youth.” says HANDS Executive Director, Luther Flurry.

Corporate contributors to these programs are JPMorgan Chase Bank, Valley National Bank and NJ PURE Insurance, Wyndham Worldwide, CURE Insurance, PSE&G, NJM Insurance Group and Solix, Inc.   “Without the vision and commitment of our Corporate Partners and the NRTC Program, these projects could not happen.” says Mr. Flurry.

About the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program:  The NRTC Program provides business entities with a 100% tax credit for funds provided to nonprofit entities carrying out comprehensive revitalization plans. Nonprofit entities may use funds for housing and economic development and supportive services that promote neighborhood revitalization.

Luther Flurry, Executive Director

Luther Flurry, Executive Director

Luther joined HANDS in 2017 as Executive Director. Luther is known for his leadership in cross-sector partnerships, strategic planning, and financial management, and he is the former Executive Director of the Montclair Center Business Improvement District. Luther leads HANDS’ strategic real estate development and community engagement practice and represents HANDS in local, regional and national conversations in community stabilization, revitalization, and creative placemaking. Working with municipal government, local stakeholders, and private developers, he led $2 million in local investment that attracted over $300 million in private investment in Montclair, NJ. By elevating downtown vibrancy, visibility, and local economic development initiative, that organization improved the built environment and the business environment. Prior positions at the F.B. Heron Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Citizens Committee for New York City immersed Luther in neighborhood development, grass-roots organizational development, general management, and finance. You can reach Luther by email: luther@handsinc.org.

Pat O’Neill, Deputy Director

Pat O’Neill, Deputy Director

Pat oversees the HANDS real estate department including projects in planning and development and the portfolio of rental properties including, the HANDS’ flagship project, Hat City Lofts. His experience, education, and training in real estate development, finance, construction and organizational development are essential to the organization.  Pat’s ability to manage real estate transactions and his experience with non-profit management, for-profit real estate development, and an entrepreneurial bent is greatly valued.

His career has spanned both the private and public sectors, for-profit and not-for-profit enterprises, privately held firms, and public companies. Pat founded and co-founded companies, raised over $100M in capital and led companies and teams through both good times and challenging times. Email: pat.oneill@handsinc.org