History

Classis New Brunswick

Community Development Corporation

Churches Improving Communities (CIC) was formed in 2012 as the Classis New Brunswick Community Development Corporation, a non-profit that would assist the 29 Reformed Church in America churches in the geographic are of roughly central New Jersey to pool resources to better serve their communities with justice and mercy programs. CIC staff partnered with churches to assist with projects like the reconstruction of Pixie Preschool playground at Spotswood Reformed Church.

After Superstorm Sandy struck the east coast in 2012, several Classis New Brunswick churches, including the Community Church of Keyport, Colts Neck Reformed Church, and the Reformed Church of Highland Park, provided immediate disaster relief for storm victims along the New Jersey shore, and began to assist low-income families with storm recovery and reconstruction. In 2014, CIC won a grant for $99,000 from the NJ Sandy Relief Fund for its program Churches Accomplishing Long-Term Recovery (CALTR), which repaired and reconstructed over 200 homes between 2012-2017.

Also in 2014, CIC was granted funding from Middlesex County to pilot a re-entry program for people returning to their communities from Middlesex County Jail, and NeighborCorps Re-Entry Services was born. 

In 2015, a retired mental health professional from Highland Park developed a pilot program to provide free and very low-cost professional mental health counseling to uninsured and under-insured individuals. In 2016, the program hired a clinical director and provided services to seven RCA churches – Community Church of Keyport, Church in Brielle, Ocean Community Church, South River Reformed Church, Middlebush Reformed Church, Colts Neck Reformed Church, and the Reformed Church of Highland Park – in four New Jersey counties.

In 2016, CIC was asked to create a program that would come along side a Classis church for a year at a time to learn about that church, community, gifts, and challenges, and to help the church develop or expand a community service or outreach program that meets a need in the community. To date, CIC has worked with Second Reformed Church in New Brunswick, Trinity Reformed of North Plainfield, and Agape House in its Focus Church program.

In 2018, CIC welcomed DIRE Support Services and its robust interfaith coalition of volunteers into the CIC family of programs after it secured program funding from the United Way of New Jersey.

 

Today, CIC continues to serve the churches of Classis New Brunswick, and partners with faith communities, civic organizations, arts and professional organizations, schools, and individuals to pool strengths, resources, and volunteers to better serve low-income individuals and families across central NJ.