In the summer of 2013 Stand Up For Salem was awarded a grant for the Center of Salem Neighborhood (Oak to Olive Streets) by New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.
The Center of Salem neighborhood was identified by the state as in need of rehabilitation and Stand Up For Salem coordinated a community plan in 2010 that identified 5 general areas in need of improvement by the residents:
- Housing Improvements
- Economic Development
- Safety Improvements
- Infrastructure Improvements.
The State of New Jersey formally approved our community plan in 2011 and PSEG Nuclear contributed the initial designated funds for our first project (Housing Improvements) in 2012.
In 2013 the state program was relaunched and Stand Up For Salem was then awarded the full million dollars for project one - Signed Sealed Delivered.
- Signed - Facade/Outside housing improvements
- Sealed - Boarding up and beautifying vacant properties
- Delivered - Removing our worst lost buildings and securing the land
In October 2013 our project manager - Helene Pierson began full time work for Salem Up For Salem. An initial community meeting was held and an advisory committee consisting of SUFS volunteers and City of Salem representatives was formed.
Spring 2014 - 40 decorative board-ups were completed. Numerous facade improvements have been completed with many more coming. In May we demolished 4 properties on the Wesley Street bend in partnership with the City of Salem. 4 more are planned for removal this year.
We now have two community gardens in Salem City - the Salem City Community Garden - now in its third season, and the new Olive Street Community garden. A third community garden is now in the works in partnership with United Way of Salem County/JB Campbell Center. Volunteers and gardeners always welcome!