CFS Announced as Promise Neighborhood Grant Recipient

CFS Announced as Promise Neighborhood Grant Recipient

Camden Cooper Lanning Promise Neighborhood receives federal funding to create a neighborhood of opportunity
Saturday, December 21, 2013

CAMDEN- US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced 10 Promise Neighborhood Planning Grant Awards today, and Center For Family Services in Camden City was among the winners.  Funding will support Center For Family Services and the community collaborative in the development of a plan to create a neighborhood of opportunity in the Cooper Plaza and Lanning Square neighborhoods of Camden City, NJ.

As a planning grantee, Center For Family Services will receive a one-year award of $499,654 to create a targeted plan for combating poverty in the Cooper Lanning community.  "The Promise Neighborhood Planning Grant award will support us in developing a comprehensive plan to transform and strengthen the Cooper Plaza and Lanning Square neighborhoods so that children and families can thrive and succeed," said Merilee Rutolo, Vice President of Center For Family Services. "We look forward to collaborating with our strong team of partners, which includes community residents and partner organizations."

The one-year grant will allow Center For Family Services and its partners to develop a comprehensive plan of continuous and comprehensive cradle-to-career services designed to improve educational achievement and support the healthy development of children within the Cooper Plaza and Lanning Square neighborhoods.

"The Promise Neighborhood Planning Grant is an exciting recognition of the collaborative work in Camden City to improve schools, reduce violence, transform neighborhoods and strengthen communities for our children to succeed,” said Camden City Mayor, Dana Redd.  “I thank President Obama and Secretary Duncan for their vision and actions to achieve positive community change in Camden City and other cities across the country.”

“Children must be safe, healthy, and supported by adults across an entire community to reach their fullest potential,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Against all odds, Promise Neighborhoods work to provide families and children with the support they need to help break the cycle of poverty that threatens too many of our nation’s communities.”

Under the Obama administration, the Promise Neighborhoods program has awarded one-year grants to support the development of a plan to implement the a cradle to career program so that all children growing up in the Promise Neighborhood have access to great schools and strong systems of family and community support that will prepare them to attain an excellent education and successfully transition to college and a career.


Center For Family Services is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support and empower individuals, families, and communities to achieve a better life through vision, hope and strength. It is their vision that all people lead capable, responsible, fulfilled lives in strong families and healthy communities.

The Camden Cooper Lanning Promise Neighborhood initiative is focused on creating opportunities for children and families who live within the Cooper Plaza and Lanning Square communities to thrive. The Promise Neighborhood Initiative is based on the Harlem Children’s Zone model to create a comprehensive, high quality pipeline of services to ensure a cradle through college continuum that leads to academic achievement and neighborhood improvement.  The Cooper Lanning Team, led by Center For Family Services, is working to develop a plan to utilize Harlem’s block by block model of community improvement for children and families. 

Promise Neighborhoods is one of the signature programs of the White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, which supports innovative and inclusive strategies that bring public and private partners together to help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. It encourages collaboration between the U.S. Departments of Education, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Treasury and Health and Human Services to support local solutions for sustainable, mixed-income neighborhoods with affordable housing, safe streets and good schools.


Jen Hammill, Associate Vice President of Public Relations
856.651.7553 x40129