Position Available: Community Organizer for CDC in New Jersey

H. C. Covington -- I CAN America (icanamerica@email.msn.com)
Sat, 9 Oct 1999 19:36:30 -0500

If you know anyone who will be interested and qualified, Please pass the
note along:
Job Description:  Community Organizer  $30,000 to $50,000
HANDS, Inc, a ten year old, nonprofit community development corporation that
is rebuilding neighborhoods in Orange and East Orange NJ, bordering Newark,
seeks a dynamic community organizer to engage residents in a comprehensive,
resident-led revitalization of targeted areas of these two neighboring
(pop. 105,000).

The focus of the three year revitalization effort is to empower residents to
bring systemic change in the way that City Hall, State Government and the
private market deal with the issue of vacant problem properties in
neighborhoods. There are 400-500 vacant properties that are draining the
out of otherwise stable neighborhoods.

Three year funding to undertake this initiative is in place, beginning
1, 1999.

Residents, business owners and City officials all agree that rehabilitating
vacant properties is a critical issue yet nothing is being done. Citizen
complaints are falling on deaf ears, community concern is unfocused and the
problem continues to worsen.

HANDS, Inc. believes that unless a solution to this pressing problem is
community-led that it will have limited impact and that any reforms will be

This three year problem property initiative is viewed as a launching pad for
resident control over a wider array of neighborhood concerns.


Train interested residents how to exercise control over what happens in
their neighborhood.

Train emerging community leaders the basic skills of defining this issue,
broadening community support, identifying who can deliver on this issue,
focusing the issue on specific achievable results, following through to
completion, and holding elected officials accountable.

Make the problem property issue a top priority for City government and the
community at large.

Rally broad community support for proposed solutions to the problem.

Community Organizer Responsibilities:

Identify interested community leaders.

Assist neighborhood leaders to:

Develop a plan for the acquisition and rehabilitation of problem properties
their neighborhoods.

Create and follow through on a workable action plan that will eliminate
pronblem properties.

Create a Problem Property Task Force in each city that includes community,
municipal and private sector representatives.

Broaden the base of community support through reaching out to community
institutions - Rotary, League of Women Voters, Hospital, editorial boards

Generate press coverage.

Inject their issues into election campaigns.

Find a means to hold elected officials accountable.

Create an organizational structure to ensure follow through by community

Provide staff support to the community representatives on the Task Forces.

Recruit for HANDS Community Leadership Institute.

Responsible for annual Community Leadership Awards program.

It should be understood that this position requires a great deal of face to
face communication, recruitment, meetings, phone calls, door knocking etc.

Requirements and Compensation:

Five years experience in community organizing, relevant professional
preparation in organizing, planning and leadership development is desired.
HANDS is seeking a mature organizer who has developed community capacity on
one or more successful projects.

Salary $30,000 to $50,000 depending on qualifications. Benefits.

Mail or fax resume, salary requirements and three references with phone
numbers to HANDS, Inc. 439 Main Street Orange, NJ 07050 fax (973) 678-3110.

Miriam Axel-Lute                miriam@nhi.org
National Housing Institute      voice 973-678-9060 X10
Shelterforce Magazine           fax 973-678-8437
439 Main Street Ste 311         <url: http://www.nhi.org>
Orange, NJ 07050-1523
H. C. Sonny Covington - I CAN America
P.O. Drawer 3444 - Lafayette, LA 70502
icanamerica@msn.com - Voice 1-318-781-0216