24th Annual Supportive Housing Awards

The 24th Annual Supportive Housing Awards recognize successful initiatives, and honor the leadership and dedication of outstanding individuals, organizations, and municipalities that increase supportive housing opportunities in New Jersey. The recipients of our awards play a leadership role in the creation of housing that is supportive, accessible, and affordable while maximizing the supportive services available to the residents who need them.

SHA is proud to congratulate our 2022 Supportive Housing Award recipients who help uphold the best of our supportive housing community through their dedicated efforts across New Jersey. SHA is grateful to all our recipients and nominees for their commitment to building inclusive communities and growing opportunities.

Take a moment to celebrate this year's recipients!

Housing Hero

Norman “Norm” Smith
Project Freedom, Inc.

Norman “Norm” Smith, our Supportive Housing Hero has been a pioneer in the development and expansion of supportive housing since 1984. Norm's story is one of obstacles seen and surmounted. While Norm's Cerebral Palsy (CP) affects his mobility, speech and fine motor skills it has never prevented him from achieving his academic or life goals through hard work and determination. After graduating summa cum laude, from Long Island University, Norm set out to find a home where he could live with independence but what he found was a world of limited choices. Norm wanted housing with access to services fully integrated into his community. Since this did not exist, Norm responded by setting out to create it by founding Project Freedom in 1984. By the end of 1991, Norm's "good housing idea" had been transformed into a real supportive housing project that housed both Norm's family and twenty-nine other families. Project Freedom has grown from that early pioneering project into 10 sites of over  800 units of supportive housing throughout five counties. As Associate Executive Director at Project Freedom, Norm continues to work every day for the further development and expansion of supportive housing all across New Jersey.

Innovation Leader

Leslie Stivale
Triple C Housing, Inc.

For over 21 years, Leslie Stivale has brought her vision and innovative leadership as President/CEO at Triple C Housing to create supportive housing throughout New Jersey. Striving to break the cycle of homelessness or institutionalization, Leslie has formed supportive service partnerships helping to enhance more lives with collaborations with housing developers. Under her guidance she has expanded the reach of Triple C Housing from approximately 55 consumers in 2005 to over 300 in 2022. At the same time Triple C has expanded their housing from 3 to 20 properties serving 91 individuals and families with a mental illness or who have been previously homeless. No one doubts that the goal of 25 by 25 will be achieved under Leslie’s leadership. Leadership is a quality best expressed in how it nurtures and inspires others by example; SHA celebrates the wonderful model of leadership exemplified by Leslie Stivale and her work with Triple C Housing, Inc.

Municipal Award

Township of Edison

Throughout its many projects it is evident that Edison Township prioritizes the creation of affordable and supportive housing. Edison Township has established itself as a dedicated supporter of Alternative Living arrangements. The Township has multiple group homes and transitional housing developments that have received financial or municipal support in some form.

In addition to its already well-established track record of providing supportive housing, the Township also has an aggressive Group Home Initiative that was incorporated as part of the Township's Affordable Housing Obligation (one of the largest in the state).

The Initiative includes the plan to support the development of 153 new supportive housing units, with $3.825 million specifically set aside for the purchase of homes to be used for supportive housing as well as additional funding to be used for energy efficiency improvements, barrier-free improvements to properties, emergency repairs and generators.

Edison Township's track record and confidence on meeting their 2025 housing obligation is strong proof for their cultivating a positive environment for supportive housing.

Project of the Year

Bergenview Apartments

Bergenview Apartments is a tenant in-place affordable and supportive housing project that combines historic preservation of a former YMCA building in Jersey City, NJ. The project contains 111 studio units that serve all formerly homeless tenants as well as 1 superintendent's unit. Construction began in November of 2020 and certificate of occupancy was obtained in August of 2022.

The Community Builders, Inc. (TCB) took ownership of the property in 1999 and converted the historic YMCA building from a 210-unit Single Room Occupancy (SRO) building into a 131-unit building containing 59 SRO units and 72 studio units serving formerly homeless residents. By August 2018, TCB was in process of restructuring and substantial rehabilitation to maintain the residential building as a quality supportive housing resource within Jersey City and surrounding Hudson County.

The rehabilitation scope of work converted the 59 remaining SRO units into 40 studio units by reconfiguring the ground through third floors. Major building systems improvements including HVAC, roof and elevator were upgraded or substantially rehabilitated. The team pursued ENERGY STAR and Enterprise Green Communities (EGC) certifications, and in August of 2022 it received its Green Community Certification.

Project partners included:

The Community Builders, Inc.

Moderate Income Management Company

Kramer+Marks Architects


Pike Construction Co., LLC

CPC Mortgage

Boston Financial

Project of the Year

Village at Harmony Garden

The new Village at Harmony Garden community, developed by Pennrose, offers affordable housing to developmentally disabled and senior residents of Gloucester County. One of the goals of Village at Harmony Garden is to provide individuals with developmental disabilities the opportunity to live independently while maintaining access to the supportive services necessary to helping them achieve daily living success. The prime location of the community situates residents close to Rowan Boulevard with local shops, services, and attractions. The design features 65 one-story cottage units containing 57 one-bedroom and 8 two-bedroom units. 52 of the apartments at Village at Harmony Garden are age-restricted for seniors ages 55 and up.

Additionally, 13 apartments were set-aside for non-age restricted individuals with developmental disabilities, and 4 were set aside for individuals over 55 with developmental disabilities. 100% of the apartments at Village at Harmony Garden have the rent supported by Glassboro Housing Authority project-based vouchers, helping those in the community in need at all levels access this new housing.

Project partners included:

Pennrose, LLC

PennReach, LLC

The Brooke Group, LLC

Kitchen & Associates

MidAtlantic Engineering Partners

Ingerman Construction

New Jersey Housing &

Mortgage Finance Agency

Bank of America

Gloucester County

Borough of Glassboro

Glassboro Housing Authority

Federal Home Loan Bank