On December 2, 2014, panelists presented information at a community forum to interested residents about resources and future plans to improve the quality of life for the township. Hosted by United Way of Greater Union County, the Borough of Roselle and Roselle Public Schools, several panelists and a few community-based organizations discussed their goals and hopes for a better community. In attendance were parents, residents, community leadership, students, clergy and representatives from community-based organizations who had an opportunity to ask questions and make suggestions for a brighter future for Roselle.
One resident mentioned he just moved to Roselle and was pleased that he could attend such a forum. He was very interested in finding out what resources were available for his family such as sports, clubs, and other activities. Mayor Jamel Holley stated: "No doubt, Roselle is on the move. We continually improve the quality of our emergency response teams. We have rebuilt our public parks for all to enjoy. We are excited to break ground on a 21st Century State of the Art community center, in collaboration with many others interested in investing in Roselle. We have listened to our residents and we have responded. We have created an open style of government this entire community is proud of, and we are making a real difference."
Regarding education, Superintendent, Dr. Kevin West, discussed plans for the School District to offer more safety and also some of the programs they have initiated to help their students achieve, including programs offered by community-based organizations and their partnerships. In the area of law enforcement, Officer Helder Friere, revealed that the PBA is prepared to launch a new digital presence to reach more young people and include them in their community programs. Pastor Pamela Jones, CEO & Founder of, Communities in Cooperation emphasized, “Our a focus is on helping our youth and families become employable. This is our goal in one of our programs called ‘Roselle First Workforce Initiative.’”
James W. Horne, Jr., President/CEO, UWGUC presented United Way’s role in bringing together those who are responsible and those affected by, and care about the community’s quality of life. Horne explained, “We want to be a partner and expand Roselle’s efforts to build the community center. We have the data specific to this community that will help us shape the goals of Roselle to meet the needs of its families. We understand how to reach the aspirations of those who care and want to see families succeed.”
The second part of the forum included a resource fair featuring 20 community-based organizations and city departments that were available for questions. The organizations distributed pamphlets and flyers highlighting resources available to families and the community.
Since spring of 2014, UWGUC has participated in meetings with several of Roselle’s leadership including the Mayor and Superintendent, to discuss issues such as youth education, community health, and unemployment. Several additional stakeholders were invited to participate in the meetings resulting in the planning of the community forum. The forum focused on the unique needs of the residents of Roselle, while providing valuable resourceful information to the community. The intent of the forum was to solicit the input from residents on how to address and solve some of the issues as identified by UWGUC Community Needs Assessment.
Family Strengthening Overview
This year, UWGUC initiated several forums and meetings within Union County townships, designed to discuss ways to uniquely devise a realistic approach to helping vulnerable families in various municipalities. In order to go farther in its mission to strengthen families, UWGUC recognizes it is incumbent upon community stakeholders to work together in solving real issues. The successful implementation of increasing resources to support families relies heavily on gathering key people within a designated township, who have the same interests and want to work together towards a common goal of improving the lives of families. This proactive approach to address, while collecting and examining staggering data, uncovered the specific symptoms for many of the issues some of our most vulnerable families, in Union County, are facing. For more information call Charlene Bathelus, UWGUC, 908-353-7171, ext. 137.