St. Paul's Community Development Corporation (SPCDC) has its roots in St. Paul's Episcopal Church, which has served Paterson, New Jersey, for 200 years.
St. Paul's was home to the city's first Head Start classroom in 1966. It established the Food Pantry in 1970 and the Emergency Men's Shelter in 1984. In the fall of 1990, it incorporated St. Paul's Community Development Corporation as a separate, nonprofit, 501(C)(3), tax-exempt entity to consolidate and enhance its outreach efforts.
SPCDC's initial objective was to improve service delivery, expand funding possibilities, and increase volunteer leadership beyond the Vestry of St. Paul's Church. Today, SPCDC provides various human service programs to more than 6,000 families and individuals annually, including adult basic education, workforce development training, and affordable housing. Over 200 volunteers per year support our full-time staff. The ethnic and socioeconomic mix of our board of directors and staff reflects the diversity of the community we serve.
The mission of St. Paul's Community Development Corporation is to serve as an agent of hope, partnering with others to provide need driven services that improve the quality of life and encourage greater self-sufficiency.
SPCDC collaborates with others to provide these programs and services, which are driven by community needs. Partnership is an essential part of the agency's strategy in accomplishing its mission, evidenced by strong alliances with other community, religious and public/private sector organizations. Developing a broad base of funding support and program revenue is foundational to SPCDC's structure, as it seeks to provide a continuum of care that focuses on guiding individuals toward greater self-sufficiency. SPCDC's human services programs also include our AmeriCorps Program and the 5th Ward Neighborhood Redevelopment Project.
SPCDC programs respond to the needs of the community by providing comprehensive, supportive, social services that can break the cycle of homelessness and move an individual from shelter to transitional housing, to employment and a permanent home. These human services are staff-driven and are administered on and off-site. Case managers, mentors, teachers, and social workers assist our participants with improving the quality of life for families and individuals through stability and education. Participants are assisted in identifying and prioritizing their needs, in strengthening their ability to constructively resolve their problems and develop a plan to prevent the recurrence of said problems.
SPCDC is supported by a dedicated full-time staff of 20 to 25 persons, including a leadership team comprised of the Executive Director and Director of Finance. In addition, there are 4 to 6 part-time employees and 25 AmeriCorps Members (annually) who support our work. SPCDC has had a long-term commitment to the Greater Paterson community and will continue that committment as long as we are able.