Grantee Blog 2020

Standing Up for Our Community

Over the past six weeks, our Healthy Housing Embajadoras have visited many homes within the Gateway Neighborhood. Here’s what one of our Embajadoras says about her experience:

“For the past several weeks, my partner and I have gone around to homes within the Gateway community surveying various Perth Amboy residents for their opinions on the health and affordability on their homes in Perth Amboy. Although many residents are hesitant to respond at first, as we go further into the survey they begin to really voice their concerns and opinions about their own housing, and housing in Perth Amboy as a whole. My partner and I have also been able to educate residents on what their rights are as tenants and how to maintain a safe and secure home. We have given out radon kits to almost every participant, explained where to purchase and place certain safety items such as carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers, and even discussed how to contact the proper authorities on housing safety and affordability, such as our local Code Enforcement and Housing Authority. Many residents speak of their experience living in Perth Amboy for almost their entire lives, and every participant expressed a desire for change. It is not only a privilege to be able to speak to and hear the stories of these residents, but it is an honor to be part of the change that this city both wants and needs.”

As well as the door-to-door education and advocacy, we also held an in-person, socially distant housing meeting in the gymnasium of the Raritan Bay Area YMCA. Over thirty residents expressed their concerns and gave valuable insight as to what changes need to made. Continually, our fantastic intern has been producing bilingual informational videos and social media posts around safe housing. We hope to continue this good work and build momentum around this movement.

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.