Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'
--Martin Luther King, Jr.
It seems appropriate on the day we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to talk about community development corporations, sometimes called faith-based organizations.
One of the largest CDCs in the nation is New Community Corporation in Newark, which began in response to the aftermath of 1967 civil disturbances. Its mission was to provide vital services to a community in turmoil and it is still helping people obtain housing, jobs and food.
Locally, there are several CDCs with varied missions. A Plaintalker post from 2007 describes efforts of Liberty CDC (affiliated with Mount Olive Baptist Church) to address gun violence. While that program was later disbanded due to budget cuts at the Union County Prosecutor's Office, other CDCs are still viable.
- Plainfield Grassroots Community Development Corporation
- Premier Community Development Corporation develops housing and also has programs on financial literacy, computer literacy and nutrition.
- SHEELD Community Development Corporation is affiliated with Shiloh Baptist Church and offers tutoring, according to a city services directory.
- Cathedral International CDC is affiliated with Bishop Donald Hilliard's church, Cathedral International. Its mission includes job creation, economic development, life skills training and development of affordable housing.
- United Plainfield Community Development Corporation is affiliated with United Church of Christ Congregational and offers many social services.
These are just some of the organizations that provide needed services to the community. Staff, volunteers and the institutions that support the work of CDCs are "doing for others" in their own quiet way.