June 9, 2021
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Robbinsville Township Mayor Dave Fried, flanked by Business Administrator Joy Tozzi, members of Township Council and his staff, were on hand today to help cut the ceremonial ribbon at Freedom Village – the new Project Freedom location in Town Center South.
The original Project Freedom Robbinsville (NJ) location at 223 Hutchinson Road is a complex of 30 units designed specifically to provide housing and activities for 46 individuals with various disabilities. That project was completed in October, 1991.
Project Freedom Is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that develops and operates barrier-free housing to enable individuals with disabilities to live independently. In addition, supportive services such as recreation, training and advocacy are provided.
The brand new, 72-unit apartment community features one, two and three bedroom apartments surrounding a large Community Center. The buildings are a three-story design, with private entrances in front and all are totally barrier-free and accessible for people using wheelchairs. The buildings have elevators, central heat and air conditioning.
“This is a great day for Project Freedom and I believe a great day for Robbinsville,” Project Freedom Executive Director Tim Doherty said. “We’ve had such a good partnership with the town over the years. Our mission is independence – independence for individuals with disabilities and that is very special to us.”
Mayor Fried lauded the beautiful complex and paid tribute not only to Doherty and Project Freedom Co-Founder Norman Smith for their monumental efforts, but also to former Washington Township mayor and current Project Freedom Board of Trustees Charmain Herb Schneider for “helping to set the foundation that makes Robbinsville such a great place to live.”
“Robbinsville is home to the first Project Freedom and we could not be more proud that Tim and Norman chose Robbinsville again,” Mayor Fried said. “Robbinsville has embraced affordable housing, and what many people don’t know is our town is 10 percent affordable. But I challenge them all the time to find it and point it out to me. That’s because of places such as this. We want everyone to feel welcome. We want everyone to feel included. When we talk about inclusion we all have to work together and get things done. We want everyone to feel like they are a part of this community and this facility in the heart of Town Center really represents what we’ve been trying to accomplish.”
Norman Smith, Co-Founder and Associate Executive Director of Project Freedom said, “This December will mark the 30th anniversary of 34 people with disabilities making Robbinsville our home. We were welcomed with open arms by the community as we shopped, played, and thrived in a neighborhood that grew around us. We rolled and walked though diverse neighborhoods where our presence was not seen as unusual. Our neighbors have helped us when our chairs mysteriously found mud holes, and we helped them with community efforts for the betterment of the community. So, it is very exciting for me to see another neighborhood in Robbinsville develop where Project Freedom will be a key part.”
“This is your home now. More importantly, this is a place where you can start down a path of independence and freedom. Follow your dreams. Follow your heart. Follow your ambitions. Whatever path you choose, honor your freedom and do it with determination!” Smith said.