Over the past 4 years, The Mission Continues Newark Platoon has worked with urban agriculture non-profits and local schools but have struggled to find a sustainable long-term partner. Fortunately, we were connected to the Boys and Girls Club of Newark located in Central Ward. Central Ward faces a lot of challenges. 32% of its residents live in poverty with 45% of those residents being children. In addition to that, kids in the community perceive the challenges in Central Ward to be bullying, few adult role models, drug selling and usage, theft, robberies, mental health issues, and few recreational spaces.
The Boys and Girls Club is working alongside the other organizations located on the same square block to help change that perception. This block is known as the "Campus." This campus contains the Boys and Girls Club of Newark, Miller/Spencer School, Jesse Allen Park, and Grace West Houses. This group of collaborators calls themselves "The Friends of Jesse Allen Park." This friends group wants to change the neighborhood in a positive way through place-making and everyone feels that the perception of Central Ward can change as long as community members take ownership of their neighborhood. The Friends of Jesse Allen Park and The Mission Continues are working together to re-imagine and reinvent the public spaces around the Campus to strengthen connection between the people and places they share to support an evolution of what the community is known for.
Join us as we forever change Central Ward!