The Legend Continues

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.


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.

The Mission Continues

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

The Vision

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.

Known among our neighbors as “The Red Door,” Bessie Green Community has been serving the underprivileged of Newark, New Jersey, since 1978.

About US Clothing Closet

Our clothing barn provides gently-used clothes and footwear to our neighbors. The type of clothing ranges from casual to business attire.

About Us Food Pantry

Our food pantry is open on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. We also provide food for those experiencing emergency needs. Guests are allotted one bag per month. Each family is eligible to receive two bags.

About Us Soup Kitchen

Our soup kitchen serves breakfast and lunch on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Our neighbors are welcomed inside when our doors open at 9:00 a.m., and can stay until after lunch is finished being served. This enables our neighbors to be in a safe, secure environment in which they can rest, relax, and eat.

Volunteer Now

Volunteering is the gift of making the ordinary special…

Our Staff & Volunteers

Our clothing barn, food pantry, and soup kitchen, 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.

  • Brenda Broome
  • Jeff Friedman
  • Veronica Irving
  • Monique Kelly
  • Fatima Moss
  • Chris Pipoli
  • Sean Pfieffer
  • Melida Ramos
  • Kevin Russ
  • Damon Smith
  • Pedro Torres
  • Marshall Williams