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Jersey Strong: Local suppliers step in to help renovate a homeless shelter in the Garden State

American Standard and Philips Lighting donate products and manpower.

June 07, 2017 |

A renovated bathroom in one of the dozen apartments in Naomi's Way in New Brunswick, N.J., a permanent housing facility for at-risk families. Image: American Standard Brands

Naomi’s Way, a 12-unit shelter in New Brunswick, N.J., had been providing transitional housing for special-needs single homeless women and their children.

About a year ago, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen, N.J., which operates Naomi’s Way, decided to convert the building to permanent housing. But it only had about $100,000 for much-needed renovations, and its initial plan was limited to redoing the kitchens in each apartment and making other, cosmetic changes, like replacing sliding closet doors with doors that swung open.

All-Phase Consulting Services, a general contractor in Perth Amboy, N.J., was hired to do most of that work.

Then the scope of the project broadened dramatically, thanks to the involvement of American Standard, the plumbing brand of Lixil, whose corporate headquarters is in nearby Piscataway, N.J.

American Standard donated in excess of $100,000 in products—including faucets, fixtures, and vanities—and remodeling costs, which allowed Catholic Charities to gut and redo each apartment’s bathroom. Then Philips, based in Somerset, N.J., donated all of the LED light fixtures. Leviton, which is based in Melville, N.Y., donated the switch/light outlet covers and AFCI outlets.

Fifty-five employees from American Standard and Philips volunteered to paint the apartments over a five-day period. Sherwin-Williams’ retail store in North Brunswick, N.J. donated the paint.

This corporate largesse “kind of turned this into a full-building renovation,” says Richard Matarangelo, Catholic Charities’ Facilities Maintenance Manager, who is supervising this project. He was able to replace the windows in the bathrooms with energy efficient windows with frosted glass, supplied by Silver Line Building Products, which is based in North Brunswick Township, N.J.



Richard Matarangelo, facilities maintenance manager for Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen, N.J., who is supervising the renovation of Naomi's Way to become permanent affordable housing. Image: BD+C


During the renovation, some residents who had been living at Naomi’s Way were relocated to one of Catholic Charities’ other shelter. (Statewide, Catholic Charities operates about 30 buildings with around 100 apartments.)

Naomi’s Way’s renovation is scheduled for completion on July 1. 

Each apartment is getting new kitchen cabinets, faucets, and sinks. Some will also get new appliances. Image: BD+C


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