New Brunswick Tomorrow Gives Neighborhood a Name: Esperanza

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—New Brunswick Tomorrow, one of the city's most prominent non-profit agencies, is moving forward with a project to improve a large swath of the Hub City.

The area, which stretches from Somerset Street to Livingston Avenue in the city's Fourth and Fifth Wards, is being dubbed the "Esperanza" neighborhood by the agency.

The word is Spanish for "hope."

New Brunswick Tomorrow's President Jeffrey Vega said, "The neighborhood got its name organically through residents during the planning process."

His organization's map shows the neighborhood is divided by the Northeast Corridor railroad line.  On one side of the railroad, the neighborhood extends from Prospect Street along Somerset Street to the county line and St. Peter's Cemetery.

On the other side of the tracks, Esperanza extends from New Street along Livingston Avenue up to the intersection with Wellington Place.

The non-profit has has announced three public meetings related to the project this month.  Each of the meetings will begin at 6:30pm and offer food and child care.  The meetings are being advertised in English and Spanish.

The first meeting is tonight, April 14 at the Puerto Rican Action Board (PRAB) headquarters at 90 Jersey Avenue.

Two days later, on Wednesday April 16, the next meeting will be held in the St. Ladislaus School, another PRAB operation, at 197 Somerset Street.

PRAB and New Brunswick T0morrow frequently partner on projects with each other and the powers that be in city and county government.

A third meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 24 at the Salvation Army building located at 287 Handy Street.

The Esperanza neighborhood project is reminiscent of the Unity Square, an ongoing effort of Catholic Charities, which took metaphorical ownership over a 37-block area int he Second Ward near the Sacred Heart Church, and named it based on community input.

For more information on the program or the upcoming meetings, interested individuals can contact Charles from New Brunswick Tomorrow at 732-484-8511.

Editor at New Brunswick Today | 732-993-9697 |

Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and was an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick in 2018.