In Nov. 2021 after ten years of our evolving mission and impact, we changed our name to Gathering Ground. You may still find reference to our old name Creative New Jersey in posts created prior to Nov. 2021.

Gathering Ground benefits from the active participation and wisdom of dozens of individuals who serve as members of our local community-based Host Teams.

PAAC’s Virtual C2C Host Team

Perth Amboy Alliance for Community logo

Jenny Alvarez, Bayside Family Success Center (JRF)
Noelia Colón, Business Improvement District
Douglas Dzema, Perth Amboy Housing Authority / P.A.R.T.N.E.R.
Pastor Bernadette Falcon-Lopez, God’s Army Ministries
Bernice Gedeon, PAAC Resident
Sherri Goldberg, JRF
Steve Jobin, Raritan Bay Area YMCA
Lisett Lebron, Gateway Neighborhood Collaborative, P.A.R.T.N.E.R.
Eulices Montiel-Fernandez, George J. Otlowski, Sr. Center for Mental Health
Kenny Ortiz, Human Services / Recreation Dept., City of Perth Amboy
Rebecca Pauley, Raritan Bay Area YMCA
Jennifer Pena, PAAC Resident / Perth Amboy Alliance for Community (PAAC)
Betsy Rodriguez, PAAC Resident / Holy Trinity Church
Melvin Rodriguez, PNC Bank
Yolanda Swiney, PNC Bank (Host Team Chair)
Brieem Towns, PAAC Resident / Perth Amboy Public Schools
Helen Varvi, Wellspring Center for Prevention
Tashi Vazquez, Economic & Community Development, City of Perth Amboy


“What an energizing and enlightening event! It was so wonderful to convene with recovery partners across the state to reflect on lessons learned. When we join forces and find a common voice, we are so much stronger and more effective. I look forward to being part of this movement to make meaningful changes which will positively impact the future of response and recovery in NJ.”

– Kelly Higgs – Former Executive Director of NJVOAD (statewide)

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