You may have noticed that the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council at 387 Kingston Ave has been going through some changes lately. Over the summer, the waiting area of the social services center has been completely cleaned up, with new seating and lighting replacing the old dusty furniture and bulletin boards. This Tuesday, a brand new awning declaring Crown Heights Central, the new face for the social services arm of the CHJCC, has gone up as well.
The name and exterior facelift is a reflection of internal changes and goals of the CHJCC, explains CHJCC Executive Director Eli Cohen, “We recognize that there’s been a breakdown of communication between the CHJCC and the Crown Heights community. Right now, we’re working towards a new era of transparency through opening up lines of communications, and making a positive impact on the lives of Crown Heights residents.”
The name Crown Heights Central was chosen for this new initiative, to convey that this is the central address, in person, by phone, and online, that Crown Heights residents can come to for information about programs and services that are available to them in the community.
The first project they undertook was renovating the storefront in an effort to make the Crown Heights Central a more welcoming place for our community members to utilize their social services. Next, they tackled their online presence: “We want to be where our community is, and we’re increasingly seeing them online,” said Cohen. With that in mind, they have just launched a website www.crownheightscentral.org, that in addition to giving full overviews of their services, includes a full listings of community resources and useful information. It will also host neighborhood updates like alternate side parking updates, school closings, and community events.
Crown Heights Central can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. Crown Heights Central plans on utilizing social media, not only to share relevant information, but also to start a conversation with the community. “We’re just starting on this journey and want to hear from the community on how we’re doing.” Cohen said. “If there’s something we can do to improve our services, please let us know!”
The Crown Heights Central is also working on beefing up their current list of services – the newest program, Legal Services, provides free legal advice and representation in the areas of immigration, custody or child support, credit card debt, foreclosures, evictions and fair hearings on denial or reduction of benefits. Currently, a volunteer program is in the works, hoping to connect local organizations with volunteers looking to give back to their community.
The work on the storefront and website was completed by entirely Crown Heights businesses, including Adar Construction, for the storefront renovations, the new awning done by Sign It INC, and website done by Star City Media
Bikur Cholim of Crown Heights
Beth Din of Crown Heigths