About Us

Our Vision

Mission Statement

Feeding, clothing, and supporting our neighbors with compassion and dignity

Vision Statement

Someday all of our neighbors will be fed, clothed, and empowered to succeed.


How many people can one fur coat feed and clothe? Well, if it’s the legendary fur coat donated in the 1970s, the answer is thousands.

Legend has it that in 1978, Bessie Green, then a member of the North Reformed Church in Newark, New Jersey, realized that if her fur coat was sold, the money could be used to purchase coats and food for the homeless and underprivileged of Newark. She then donated her fur coat to be used for that purpose.  

While that story may or may not be completely true, Mrs. Green did plant the seed which became Bessie Green Community, Inc. 

Incorporated as a 501(c)(3) charity in 1978, Bessie Green Community, Inc., began serving its neighbors by opening a clothing barn, soup kitchen, and food pantry.

Today, we continue to provide food and clothing to our neighbors, at no charge. We rely solely on donations from area churches, companies, businesses, and individuals to continue these services. We receive no funding from local, county, state, or federal sources.  

Staff & Board of Directors

Our soup kitchen, clothing barn, and food pantry are primarily staffed by individuals who were, or currently are, members of the population we serve. These staff members are paid a daily stipend for their work. Other, paid, members of the staff are the manager of the clothing barn, the soup kitchen manager, and our executive director.

In September 2017, Barbara Van Hassel joined the staff as our full-time Executive Director. She had been working as interim co-executive director in a volunteer capacity since June of 2016.

Board of Trustees

  • Bonnie Holmes, President
  • Pauline McKeown, Vice President
  • Jeanette Turner, Secretary
  • Lynn Brown, Treasurer
We develop resources in response to felt needs

See the variety of programs we’ve designed to empower our neighbors