Hudson County Community College (HCCC) has further strengthened its culture of care with the opening of the new “Hudson Helps” Resource Center. The college held a ribbon-cutting ceremony April 15 at the Resource Center, which is located on the third floor of 70 Sip Avenue, on the college’s Journal Square Campus in Jersey City.
HCCC President Dr. Chris Reber said the new “Hudson Helps” Resource Center will provide HCCC students with services, goods, financial assistance, counseling, and a variety of programs in-person and remotely, all year-round.
“We are determined to remove the barriers that prevent our students from succeeding in their studies and completing their degree and certificate work,” said Dr. Chris Reber. “This Resource Center provides a complete array of services and resources to address students’ myriad of needs, and ensure their academic success.”
In 2018, United States Government Accountability Offices research demonstrated that up to 50 percent of community college students experience food insecurity, and 15 percent endure homelessness.
In spring 2019, with seed money provided by the HCCC Foundation, the College community established food pantries on both the HCCC Journal Square and North Hudson campuses.
Since opening, thousands of students utilized the pantries. In viewing the response to the pantries, it became apparent that HCCC students had other needs, and some were discontinuing their studies for “life happens” reasons.
In the summer of 2019, the College instituted “Hudson Helps,” and in addition to the food pantries, the College offered emergency financial assistance for those times when students may not be able to pay their utility bill or rent, or fix a problem with the car they depend on for going to and from work and classes.
The new Resource Center will continue to offer hallmark programs of “Hudson Helps,” including the food pantry with shelf-stable, refrigerated and frozen foods as well as HCCC Culinary Arts Institute-prepared, ready-to-heat meals; nutritional counseling; mental health and social work services; emergency financial assistance; financial counseling; emotional health and spiritual counseling; immigration counseling; technology support; and Chromebook loans, among many others.
Two new features are being added to the “Hudson Helps” Resource Center:
- The Career Clothing Closet provides business attire and accessories donated by Lord Abbett for students’ interviews and jobs. Lord Abbett is a 92-year-old, global asset management company headquartered in downtown Jersey City.
- “Single Stop” is a centralized network that links students to child- and elder-care services; transportation; health care (vaccines, preventive care, screenings, treatment, and insurance); financial counseling; employment assistance (temporary employment, financial literacy, and public assistance); tax services; mental health counseling (on-campus and community-based); legal aid; food assistance; housing assistance (temporary housing, utilities, weatherization, and relocation); emergency relief, recovery assistance and start-up help; and a host of other support services. “Single Stop” is made possible as part of an $850,000 investment in HCCC from JPMorgan Chase to fund the HCCC “Gateway to Innovation” initiative, which is designed to provide lasting improvement in the Hudson County workforce ecosystem.
“Hudson County Community College is a beacon of hope and promise to so many. HCCC students often refer to the College as their home,” Dr. Reber stated. “Our sincere thanks to Lord Abbett, JPMorgan Chase, our Trustees, the HCCC Foundation, our faculty, students, staff, and everyone who assists in providing our students with much needed, caring, and comprehensive services.”