Every day the lronbound Community Corporation empowers residents of the lronbound section of Newark—a diverse neighborhood of 50,000 people—to build better lives for themselves and a better community for all who call the lronbound home.
As the leading social service and advocacy organization in the lronbound, ICC takes a unique approach to delivering quality services by linking them with community planning, development, and activism.
This ongoing effort to transform lives and community began in 1969, when residents started a preschool as a grassroots response to a growing need for childcare. Today, ICC remains loyal to its original commitment to develop grassroots solutions to neighborhood needs.
In addition to serving nearly 1,000 people daily with social, education and health services, ICC plays a leadership role in organizing and collaborating with community members and stakeholders on a range of neighborhood issues—from affordable housing and economic development to safe streets, clean air, and community events. Among recent accomplishments is ICC’s leadership role in the planning and development of Riverfront Park. All of this happens with the support of foundations, government, and community members, investing in positive changes in the Ironbound.
The Ironbound, also referred to as “Down Neck”, is a multi-ethnic, largely working-class neighborhood of 50,000 in Newark, New Jersey. Historically it has been a mosaic of peoples from countries around the world who arrive in the community with aspirations for a better life for themselves and their children.
In the 19th century, Germans, Lithuanians, Italians and Poles made the area their home. In the 20th century, African Americans arrived along with large numbers of Portuguese and Spanish immigrants, followed by people from Central and South America – all contributing to the richness of Ironbound’s cultural diversity. Today, two out of three Ironbound residents came to the U.S. as immigrants.
The Ironbound makes up most of Newark’s East ward and covers four square miles, including its residential community that is interspersed with commerce and a surrounding industrial area that includes trucking, chemical and waste businesses, and Newark Airport. The Ironbound is an economic engine within Newark, driving 40% of its economy and contributing to 33% of its top trade.
The residential and commercial district with Ferry Street on its spine is approximately 1 1/2 square miles. Ironbound gathers its name from the many forges and foundries and the railroads that once encircled it. Today it is bound by Penn Station and the Amtrak line on the west, the Passaic River on the north, highway 1 and 9 on the east, and highway 28 on the south.
Local factories, warehouses and industrial lots continue to operate alongside one-, two- and three-family homes and public housing complexes, and many private homes have multiple families in small apartments. Within those homes, one out of every four residents lives in poverty. Subprime lending rates in the Ironbound are among the highest in the state with foreclosures threatening working class families struggling to keep up with rising costs.
ICC is animated by a core group of values, including: accountability, mutual respect, caring, commitment to excellence, and fairness and transparency.
We are responsible for the quality and outcomes of the programs we provide, for explaining why deviations from reasonable expectations may have occurred, and for responding responsibly at all times, especially when errors in behavior or judgment have happened.
We accept the importance of each person’s rights, customs and wishes. We are courteous and supportive in all of our interactions with clients and colleagues.
We are willing to give our time and energy to the community, and we are constantly searching for ways to improve the lives of those we serve.
Commitment to Excellence:
We are committed to providing the highest quality of social services, earning our participants’ trust and striving to exceed their needs. We continuously learn from experience. We approach challenges with creativity and flexibility.
Fairness & Transparency:
We are committed to authentic communication, being willing and open to hearing the other side, and saying what we mean. Embracing inclusiveness, we welcome input and feedback from the community.