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Grantee Blog 2020

Partnering Through Challenges

The Raritan Bay Area YMCA and partners have been hard at work providing coordinated and direct services to Perth Amboy residents during COVID-19. As we see and experience our community suffering, we now realize, more than ever, how important our partnerships are in this unprecedented crisis.

One of our Healthier Perth Amboy partners, the Perth Amboy Publics Schools, set up 3 drive up food distribution sites providing packaged meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) for children and families in the community. Another partner, the Department of Human Services, is distributing these meals to seniors and those who request meal delivery as well as supporting 10 local food pantries.  The Perth Amboy Salvation Army, the YMCA, PARTNER, God’s Army Ministries of NJ, and the Chaplain’s Corp., are providing meals, showers, hygiene products to the homeless and housing vulnerable.

For our youth, the YMCA has partnered with the Jewish Renaissance Foundation to provide virtual tutoring services to students of every grade level, every day of the week. We decided to partner after realizing each organization did not have the staffing to provide these services on their own.

Recently, the YMCA, through a partnership with the City of Perth Amboy and the Jewish Renaissance Medical Center, have set up COVID-19 testing in the YMCA gymnasium.

We are hoping these partnerships carry us through our biggest challenge: changing housing policy in the midst of a pandemic. Although it would be easier to wait until things are relatively back to normal, the unsafe, substandard housing situation in Perth Amboy cannot wait any longer; there are still horrible fires due to lack of CO2 alarms, and if a new Mayor is elected in the Fall we may have to start over.

The YMCA is confident that through our strong partnerships we can begin our educational campaign and carry us into a brighter future.

About the Grantee

Raritan Bay Area YMCA

The YMCA is dedicated to building strong kids, strong families, and strong communities through programs that develop the values of caring, honesty, faith, respect, and responsibility. The YMCA serves all people regardless of age, religion, sex, or financial means and is committed to developing a healthy mind, body and spirit.