Business administrator Kathleen Long’s former employer, Oasis – A Haven for Women & Children, is receiving $300,000 in federal grant dollars through the municipal government.
Municipal officials are earmarking $100,000 for a “grab and go meal” program or food bank and another $200,000 for a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system at Oasis from their United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) allocations.
Long, who worked at the nonprofit just before joining mayor Andre Sayegh’s administration, said she was not involved in the selection process.
“I have intentionally not been involved in any of the scoring of HUD applications since I have joined the Administration because of my former connection to Oasis,” said Long last week. “Oasis has been receiving funds for years from the City, including when I was still there.”
Barbara Blake-McLennon, director of Community Development, said the nonprofit received grant funds for various public service programs over the years. Oasis received $50,000 to $60,000 every year from 2014 to 2019 for its job training, GED, and youth programs. She pointed out the nonprofit received $150,000 in 2006 to fix-up the third floor of its headquarters at 59 Mill Street.
Municipal records show the $200,000 for an HVAC installation is part of a new building expansion at Oasis.
Councilwoman Ruby Cotton, chairwoman of the community development committee, said the nonprofit organization secured a $2 million grant from elsewhere to fund its expansion. She said the city is aiding its expansion by pitching in the $200,000.
A message left at Oasis was not returned on Monday morning.
The $100,000 grant for the grab-and-go meal program will allow Oasis to distribute 1,500 bags of food monthly, according to municipal records.
Blake-McLennon has a group of application readers who review and scores each request. She and her team then produce a list of recommendations for the mayor and the community development committee, both then decide which organizations get federal grant funds, said Long.
Members of the City Council will vote on whether to approve the awards on Tuesday night.
Organizations receiving federal grant funds from the city are:
Covid-19 CDBG funds
- $100,000 Oasis for food bank, grab and go meal program
- $45,000 C-Line for substance abuse services
- $80,000 Mr. G’s Kids, Inc for mental health services
- $80,000 Grandparents Relative Resource Center for a food bank
- $100,000 CUMAC for food bank
- $60,000 Grandparents Relative Resource Center for food pantry
- $157,000 YMCA for food bank and to sanitize facility
- $200,000 NJCDC for mobile food bank and wellness kits for families
- $35,000 Boys and Girls Club for summer breakfast and meal kit program
- $223,000 Catholic Charities for food bank and PPE supplies
Covid-19 Homeless Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) funds
- $224,000 Catholic Charities for subsistence payments to prevent homelessness
- $125,000 Heart of Hannah for subsistence payments to prevent homelessness
2020-21 CDBG grants
- $30,000 for housing counseling (no organization picked)
- $35,000 City Kids Inc. for youth program
- $80,000 Chosen Generation Community Corporation for substance abuse
- $35,000 Girls Scout of Northern New Jersey for youth program
- $35,000 Wharton Institute for Performing Arts for youth program
- $84,000 NJCDC for youth art program
- $85,000 NJCDC for Great Falls Youth Center
- $98,824 Paterson public works for repairs to Bauerle Fieldhouse Phase III
- $395,477 Paterson fire and OEM for renovation of central dispatch building in South Paterson
- $104,523 Paterson fire for demolition equipment lease payment
- $200,000 Oasis for expansion and HVAC installation
- $600,000 Paterson public works for Lou Costello Park repairs
2020-21 HESG grants
- $45,000 Catholic Charities for subsistence payments to prevent homelessness
- $34,968 Catholic Charities for rapid rehousing and subsistence payments
- $75,000 for overnight shelters. $25,000 each to Eva’s Village, St. Paul’s Men’s Shelter, and St. Peter’s shelter
- $25,000 Paterson Relief for street outreach and shelter referral services.