NJ Human Services Opens Next Round of Grant Funding to Create Inclusive and Healthy Communities for Individuals with Disabilities

$1.54M in Grants Available to Non-Profits, County and Municipal Governments 

February 11, 2022

(TRENTON)The New Jersey Department of Human Services today announced that non-profits, and local county or municipal government agencies can now apply for the 2022 Inclusive Healthy Communities Grant Program (IHC) to help communities across the state support the health and well-being of individuals with disabilities where they live, work, learn and play. 

First launched in January 2021, the IHC Grant Program is an initiative spearheaded by the Human Services’ Division of Disability Services to support communities and ensure that the voice and needs of people with disabilities are included in healthy community planning.  

“We are proud to announce this program once again and make grants available to strengthen inclusion and accessibility for individuals with disabilities across New Jersey,” said Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman. “We look forward to receiving applications and seeing the creative and innovative solutions proposed.” 

The program aims to promote change at the local level by addressing pre-existing physical, environmental, social and economic challenges that prevent people with disabilities from having full access to the conditions that support their health and well-being. 

“With the inaugural launch of this program, 18 communities are already working on a range of solutions to create more healthy and inclusive communities for all. From taking steps to   create fully accessible community spaces to developing plans to assess and evaluate current community practices, we are already seeing the impact of our work and look forward to enhancing this. I urge those interested to learn about and apply for the program so we can continue our work in creating a stronger and fairer New Jersey for all,” said Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira.  

Applicants can submit proposals for capacity building grants of up to $60,000 or implementation grants of up to $150,000, which will fund efforts for 12 months.   

New to this funding cycle is a collaboration with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Additional funding is available to enhance proposals targeted to increasing access to coastal resources for people with disabilities. An additional $30,000 is available for these types of proposals for planning efforts.  

“Data illustrates that people with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by chronic diseases. Through this initiative we aim to help communities create inclusive community resources and practices so that people with disabilities can achieve better health outcomes. We are proud to help improve the quality of life for all New Jerseyans,” DDS Executive Director Peri L. Nearon said.  

“The Department of Environmental Protection is proud to partner with the Department of Human Services to help ensure that our coastal and natural resources are open and inclusive to every New Jerseyan and visitor,” DEP Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette said. “Being outdoors and enjoying nature is a great way to spend time with family and friends, and enhances our everyday quality of life.”

Capacity building grants are available for applicants in the early stages of efforts to build disability inclusion into any existing healthy community planning efforts to identify priorities, build formal, collaborative partnerships and plan strategies that will result in lasting change.  

Implementation grants are available for applicants who have already identified priorities, built partnerships and developed an action plan to address the challenges. Examples could include adaptive playground equipment, accessible trails/paved paths, wheelchair battery charging stations in community settings, color-schemed signage, community gardens with raised beds, curb cuts and voice-automated pedestrian signals.     

Previous grant recipients who have received a capacity building grant may only apply for an implementation grant. If they have received an implementation grant, they must demonstrate how funding will build upon their grant beyond initial implementation activities and lead to long-lasting and sustainable change. 

Interested applicants are required to submit a letter of intent to apply by March 7, 2022.

Applications must be submitted by 5:00 pm on March 23, 2022.  

Interested applicants can learn more about the program and submit a proposal here. To learn more about previous IHC grant recipients, visit here