Paterson business administrator’s ex-employer getting $300,000 in federal grant dollars via city | Paterson Times Paterson Times

Paterson business administrator’s ex-employer getting $300,000 in federal grant dollars via city

By Jayed Rahman
Published: July 21, 2020


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

Covid-19 Homeless Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) funds

2020-21 CDBG grants

2020-21 HESG grants

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