Agape Means Love: Revitalizing Somerset County's Agape House
The Leadership Somerset Class of 2016 is striving to make a lasting impact on family and individual success through facility improvements and programming implementation at the Agape House, located at 122-128 E. Main Street, Somerville, NJ. This facility, comprised of 60 beds, works to care for Somerset County's homeless families and individuals. Necessities such as life skills, employment counseling, 24-hour staff support, clothing, child enrichment, and transportation are available for those in need.
"The kitchen is the heart of most any home," said Leadership Somerset Project Team Lead, Nicole Repekta. "We will work to update the Agape House kitchen and get that heart pumping. We will also work to bring a sense of personal space and comfort to these rooms - which we hope will increase both staff and family morale."
There will be four aspects to the Agape Means Love Leadership Somerset Class of 2016 project including:
- upgrades to the house's kitchen facilities;
- painting and cleaning of the house's ten family bedroom facilities;
- support for residents through creative and educational programming and events; and
- and the creation of a donation forum to foster and encourage enduring community support.
"I am delighted to be teaming with the Agape House staff and my colleagues from the Leadership Somerset Class of 2016 to bring a sense of hope to our neighbors by helping to improve the quality of their daily lives," said Leadership Somerset Project Team Co-Lead, Monique Loh.
Photographed above is one Agape House family bedroom, able to host a family of four. There are ten such bedrooms maintained in the Somerset County facility.
Photographed above is Agape House's family kitchen. This facility allows residents the ability to prepare and store food in a shared, community-like environment.
Thanks for collaboration, advice, and support to Jacqueline Blake, Rakima Carter, and Crystal Smith of Agape House; residents of Agape House; Volunteers of America Delaware Valley; The EmPoWER Family Success Center; and Leadership Somerset coordinators Denise Katula and Lisa Krueger.
Special thanks for the generous donations of supplies and time to Sherwin Williams Paint Store located at 901 Mountain Avenue in Springfield, NJ.
If you would like to donate to Agape House, a Community Project of Leadership Somerset 2016 project, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEMBERS OF THE LEADERSHIP SOMERSET CLASS OF 2016:
Julia Homann, Monique Loh, Nicole Repekta, Vaseem Firdaus, Stella Ayala, Sammi Sherwin, Donna York, Jeanette Ash, Shweta Agrawal, Lynn Hoffman, Angela Knowles, Christine Salimbene, Lisa Weinstock, Carolann DeMatos, Vanessa Cromartie, Lori Tricarico, Kathleen Tsalkalos, Robert Kenefic Jr., Ashok Khandelwhal, Russell Barefoot, and Sheridan Balmeo.
ABOUT LEADERSHIP SOMERSET:
Leadership Somerset is a year-long adult community leadership program. An easy way to understand community leadership is to see it as leadership in, for, and by the community. Leadership Somerset's goal is to create an active network of informed, concerned leaders committed to improving the quality of life in our communities. Every sector of the Somerset County community needs leaders – people who are informed, engaged, connected, and who care about keeping Somerset County a great place to live and work. Leadership Somerset creates this active network of informed, concerned citizens who guide the future of this community. Learn more at leadershipsomerset.org.