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Greenway Family Success Center, supported by the NJ Department of Children and Families, finds a new home in Avenel.

WOODBRIDGE, N.J. – Greenway Family Success Center (FSC), which works to connect local residents with housing services, life skills training, and activities that strengthen families, celebrated its new Avenel location earlier this summer and renewed its commitment to serve and assist the surrounding community.

The center offers free services and resources ranging from a closet offering free diapers and women’s health supplies to nutritional cooking and computer classes. Greenway FSC is one of nearly 60 Family Success Centers throughout New Jersey funded by the Department of Children and Families.

“We offer everything from crisis supports for someone who is going to lose their housing tomorrow, to resources for adult children trying to help their elderly parents, to space for family bonding moments like making a pizza together,” Greenway FSC Site Director Christina Armstrong said.

The center was previously located in the old Fords Theatre on New Brunswick Avenue, but when Armstrong and her team learned the site was set to be demolished, they began looking for a new location more central to Woodbridge’s ten communities.

They landed on a storefront in Avenel at 1005 Rahway Avenue. The new location has already yielded positive results – with staff welcoming many more walk-ins due to being on a highly-traveled road near several apartment complexes.  

Three full-time staff are continuing to work to help families connect to their communities, services, and each other.

“People are realizing they aren’t alone,” Armstrong said. “The pandemic changed the perspective of community resources – it leveled the playing field and reminded us that we all need a little help sometimes. I’m seeing a lot of parents who are now more willing to open up and talk about their challenges. Parenting is hard but talking to other people who are going through the same thing can help.”

Greenway FSC offers a walking club, community baby showers, family craft nights, and ice cream socials, among other events that provide informal settings for families to build relationships. Groups of all backgrounds and interests are welcome. The center regularly updates its Facebook page with upcoming activities and highlights resources available to the greater Woodbridge area.

For locals looking for a way to serve their community, the FSC trains volunteers and offers internships. They ask parents what services their communities need, and work with them to co-design programs.

“Greenway and other Family Success Centers throughout the State provide a warm and welcoming home-like environment,” Sanford Starr, assistant commissioner for DCF’s Division of Family and Community Partnerships said. “Our goal is to build stronger, more resilient families and communities, and the FSCs are at the forefront of that work.”

Greenway is one of five FSCs in the state operated by Prevention Links. To learn more, visit its website.