NVP’s mission is to bring together Valley residents, especially the poor and working poor, to build community, develop their leadership skills, and act on their faith and democratic values to create the power to address the systemic causes of poverty and injustice in the Valley.
During the past 30 years NVP leaders have created a vibrant community organization whose issue achievements have resulted in better lives for the poor and working poor people in the Valley through issue campaigns that have brought millions of public and private dollars into the Valley for job training, brownfield remediation, housing code enforcement and anti-predatory lending, as well as the creation of affordable cooperative housing developments, worker-owned companies, and a community land trust that has had a lasting impact in our region and served as a model for dozens of communities nationally.
The Naugatuck Valley Project is a regional organization of religious congregations and tenant, labor, and small business organizations organized in 1983 to save and create jobs, affordable housing, and critical public and private services in the Naugatuck Valley of Connecticut, one of the oldest industrial areas in the nation.
Since its beginning NVP has united those facing injustice and the growing economic divide—the poor, the working poor, and their allies—whether as workers facing a plant closing, tenants in rundown or overpriced housing, homeowners who are victims of predatory lending, the elderly without decent home healthcare or transportation, or immigrants seeking critical medical care in their own language—to engage in common action to change laws, intervene to bring about worker-owned companies, or resident-owned housing cooperatives, and hold private actors accountable to the needs of the region’s low-income families and the region as a whole.
Underlying NVP's explicit social change goals is the implicit goal of strengthening communities by bringing diverse people together around their common faith and democratic values. NVP campaigns also target economic and racial institutional injustice, empowering community members to take an active role in redressing inequities that have been entrenched for lifetimes and longer. In prioritizing our work, we place an emphasis on projects that restore dignity and political power through leader-led organizing campaigns—while winning jobs, affordable housing, and critical health care and other services. Our successful organizing, which connects people across lines of ethnicity, class and geography, creates an oasis of shared mutuality within our very polarized and fragmented American society, modeling the truth of our interdependence.
NVP is a founding member of the InterValley Project (IVP), a New England community organizing network formed in 1997 by NVP and 3 other similar groups to strengthen leadership, organizer and organizational development. It now has 7 affiliates. IVP provides NVP with leadership and staff development services through monthly visits, monthly network-wide organizer meetings for exchange and training, quarterly network leadership meetings, and an annual leadership institute.
1) Winning $3 million for the redevelopment of the 22-year old, 102-unit, multi-racial self-governed Brookside Cooperative Housing. These funds will pay for the replacement roofs and windows and boilers which will allow the units to be more energy efficient, as well as an upgrade of kitchens and bathrooms.
2) Shaping discussion around the future of two Waterbury hospitals, the chief sources of acute medical care in the Valley and Waterbury’s largest employers, as proposals are made to move them from non-profit to for-profit, out-of the Valley ownership.
3) Working with Catholic pastors and lay people, the Office for Catholic Social Justice Ministry and a statewide coalition to win passage of the Connecticut Safe Drivers Act, allowing all immigrants to seek to qualify for licenses, reduce their fear of arrest, improve their ability to contribute to economic growth and reducing risk to the general public of accidents involving unqualified drivers.
4) Conducting 12 house meetings with 160 participants focused on Aging with Dignity. This has led to a campaign to win improved home healthcare through improved home healthcare jobs and NVP helping lay the groundwork for model homecare worker training to help reduce the hospital readmission of patients with chronic diseases while improving the quality of homecare jobs.
1) Complete the Brookside redevelopment
2) Creation of a job training partnership for home health care workers including hospitals, Griffin Hospital’s School of Allied Health, home care agencies, NVP and Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute as a technical resources.
3) Winning resources for programs that will allow those who want to age at home instead of being forced into nursing home care prematurely for want of simple services, to do so. These include adequate funding of Meals on Wheels, respite care, and a program for repairing the homes of low-income elders to reduce physical barriers to their living at home.
4) Working to ensure that the training, compensation, and career path for homecare workers improves their jobs, reduces turnover, and encourages hundreds of women between 25-44 to enter this field. The anticipated dramatic shortage of homecare workers in the face of a mounting need among the baby boom generation heightens the value of taking these steps.
1) Funding – Our annual budget is $195,415 and we raise 20% of it through our own efforts. NVP’s organizing leads to improvements in the well being of thousands of Valley residents on a very limited budget. Almost all of our money goes to the organizers’ salaries who work to bring together Valley residents across lines of difference race, ethnicity, language, faith, age, income and geography to help them build community, teach them how to take action to win concrete victories, and win concrete change that improves peoples lives and justice in the Valley. Additional funds will allow us to meet the growing need for additional organizing staff to help NVP build a stronger voice for equitable and just economy. As with all volunteer organizations, NVP needs additional leaders. Currently NVP is identifying and seeking to hire a new Staff Director/Lead Organizer.
2) Volunteers – Additional volunteer leaders mean more power—in numbers, creativity, representation, energy and fundraising—and more opportunities for growth and learning.
3) Additional Member Groups – As the Valley becomes more diverse we work hard to bring into membership congregations, labor union locals, housing and other community-based organizations that reflect its diversity.
NVP was created by a unique mix of religious, labor and community institutions concerned about the wave of plant closings and its impact on the Valley’s ability to help its residents achieve stable, family-supporting lives. As a multi-issue organization, focused on helping individuals and groups build relationships across lines of racial, ethnic, religious, income, age and geographic difference, and teaching them leadership and organizing skills to shape decisions that shape the Valley’s future, it has played an important role in the lives of thousands of Valley residents during the past 30 years.
In combining citizen organizing and democratic economic development–the creation of worker-owned firms, cooperative housing and a community land trust–growing out of organizing campaigns, it has also served as a model for, and helped create, seven other similar organizations in New England. It has also inspired the work of scores of other organizations nationwide.
The Valley has communities with a rich industrial history, a great mix of people, and where the scale of public life if small enough to have a large impact, diverse enough to serve as a model for other, larger diverse communities, and the values of faith and having a voice in shaping one’s future are palpable.
It has been a wonderful community in which to build a powerful and inspiring organization.
This set of keywords should help someone interested in identifying an non-profit, non-partisan organization rooted in the community that empowers local leaders to identify and address pressing economic, social and environmental issues through organizing, economic development and alliance-building strategies.
Leadership Development - Through formal and informal training,
working with individuals and groups, NVP organizers and IVP staff
teach leaders how to identify and tell their own story; build
relationships; build a powerful regional organization to determine issue
Building Community Across Lines of Difference - We provide training and the opportunity at every meeting or event for leaders to have one-on-one meetings with people they don't know or don't know well, to get to know them, their story of why they care about the community and what is important to them in their lives right now. We also teach congregations and other organizations how to conduct 10-week long relationship building campaigns to strengthen ties, identify new potential leaders for the work of the congregation or organization and for their participation in NVP.
Ken Galdston serves as InterValley Project Supporting Organizer for NVP, as NVP identifies and hires its next Staff Director/Lead Organizer. Ken served as NVP's founding Staff Director/Lead Organize, and he now provides technical support for NVP work through his role as the director of the InterValley Project, a New England community-organizing network that NVP helped found in 1997. He has more than 35 years of experience as an organizer and a developer of community-based enterprises, as well as a Master's in Public and Private management from the Yale School of Management.
She has been an organizer with NVP since 2000, working with new immigrants around health care, youth, predatory lending issues. She also serves as Co-Pastor of Iglesia Pentecostal Casa del Perdon in Waterbury.
NVP creates formal collaborations, such as the Naugatuck Valley Healthcare
Jobs Partnership, which focused in training for healthcare jobs at Valley
hospitals, and has created and participated in a broad range of alliances
around winning specific policy changes, such as our successful statewide
campaign to win Medicaid funding to reimburse hospitals for medical
interpretation costs. This latter effort grew out of a successful campaign to
get Valley hospitals to improve the quality of and access to medical
interpretation services for 25,000 Limited English Proficient (LEP)
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
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