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Northern NJ Community Foundation’s ArtsBergen Initiative Partners With Artists to Help Homeless Families

October 13, 2016

luhrs–Homeless families are increasing in Bergen County.  The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s ArtsBergen initiative asks artists to bring laundry products for homeless families to the Connect the Dots.–

(Englewood, New Jersey; October 13, 2016) — The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s (NNJCF) ArtsBergen initiative is collecting laundry products for homeless families.  People attending the organization’s Connect the Dots program on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 are asked to bring laundry detergent and related products that will be distributed to homeless families and children serviced by the nonprofit agency Family Promise of Bergen County, the only organization in the county providing shelter and support to working families who become homeless.

The program will be held at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Giovatto Library, located at 1000 River Road in Teaneck, New Jersey, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Connect the Dots is free and open to the public.

Homeless Families in Bergen County

The collection is part of the NNJCF’s ongoing work to promote collaboration and civic engagement in the community.  “With homelessness on the rise in Bergen County, the NNJCF recognizes the urgency to assist Family Promise in its work to provide homeless families with resources.  We applaud them on their anniversary of 30 years of service in our communities,” explained Danielle De Laurentis, Associate Director of NNJCF.

Statistics about homeless families reveal a critical situation.  According to Family Promise of Bergen County, families make up 40% of the total homeless population, and 42% of children in homeless families are under six years of age.  The families are often hidden from view, living in overcrowded housing or in cars and shelters. Finding affordable housing in the county is problematic.  The average cost of a two-bedroom apartment is $1,500 monthly.  For a consumer to afford this rent, a household must earn $60,000 annually or $30 per hour.

“Family Promise of Bergen County greatly appreciates the support of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.  Family Promise is the only organization in Bergen County that provides shelter and support to homeless working families.  We are grateful for the NNJCF’s donation of laundry detergent and products, as these items, although necessary, are not covered by food stamps,” said Kate Duggan, Executive Director of Family Promise of Bergen County.

Community Enhancement

The NNJCF’s ArtsBergen initiative will spotlight tactical urbanism during the program with a speaker, a Latin dance performance and networking.  Speaker Mike Lydon, an internationally known planner, writer, speaker, and advocate for livable cities, will discuss Tactical Urbanism: Low Cost, High Impact via Creativity and provide low cost, high impact strategies through the arts for people to enhance their communities.  Featured guest performers Bogdan Tabaka and Juliana Henriques will present Latin dances and engage attendees in an interactive dance program.

During 2016, the Connect the Dots series is exploring creative placemaking, the practice of integrating arts and culture into the fabric of a region, town, or city block.  A goal of the series is to create an environment stimulating conversation about creative placemaking and encouraging partnerships that can initiate projects across Bergen County.

Connect the Dots is open to artists, musicians, actors, writers, dancers, performers, arts administrators, educators, municipal and community leaders, business owners, nonprofit representatives, and arts supporters living or working in Bergen County.  Refreshments will be served.

Space is limited.  Pre-registration is required and may be done online.  For further information, call 201-568-5608 or send an email to  Follow the NNJCF on Facebook at Northern NJ Community Foundation/ArtsBergen and Twitter @NNJCF.

The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF), a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization based in Englewood, New Jersey, focuses primarily on civic engagement, education, public health, and the arts.  NNJCF works with local governments, school districts, businesses, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups in Northern New Jersey to improve community life.  Foundation partners identify and resolve regional problems and opportunities by talking and learning from each other, by sharing ideas, best practices, services, and resources.

For more information, visit, send an email to, or call (201) 568-5608.  Follow the NNJCF on Facebook at Northern NJ Community Foundation/ArtsBergen and Twitter @NNJCF.

About ArtsBergen

ArtsBergen, an initiative of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, is an emerging arts alliance in Bergen County, New Jersey that supports and encourages creative placemaking, the practice of integrating arts and culture into a neighborhood, town, or region to build community and livability and boost local economy.  The initiative’s mission is to energize and unify artists and arts organizations and connect the Bergen County community to the arts.  For more information, visit, send an email to, or call 201-568-5608.

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