MCOHA is a private, nonprofit organization established in 1976 in Dover, New Jersey. While MCOHA was established primary as a Hispanic organization, we provide services to all Morris County regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.
- In 1976 MCOHA was incorporated by a group of 7 community members. The organization was established to meet the needs of the growing Hispanic population in the community. Simultaneously, the same community members opened the Spanish American Federal Credit Union, Club Colombia, and the Spanish parish for Holy Rosary Church.
- In its inception the organization began with program like English as A Second Language, Transportation, Senior Support Group (Corazones Contentos), Immigration services, and an Outreach/Client Advocate worker with a $28, 000 from the Catholic Bishops Conference in Washington DC..
- The organization was grass roots and began to form a structure due to its government funding. Every year a general assembly was done to communicate annual report and vote board members with the community.
- In 1984, Weatherization started in the agency. During the 80’s the organization ran an immigration program in conjunction with the amnesty program of the federal government.
- In 1985 La Familia Health Center opened their doors in our headquarters with a group of volunteer physicians. Today La Familia is a federally Qualified Health Center with the name of Zufall Health Center.
- In 1990 MCOHA helped fundraise over $25, 000 for Hurricane Hugo victims in Puerto Rico. MCOHA also joined with the Girl Scouts Council to form Project Safe. The after school program provided creative, physical and cultural activities.(New ED)
- In 1991 the demographics started shifting from mostly Puerto Rican Hispanics to include a diversity of groups from Colombia and Mexico. The Hispanic Director Association was formed and we became part of the founding membership.
- In 1992 (NEW Executive Director) FORMERLY NAMED AS A multi-Service provider including legal services by PRO Bono attorneys. Started providing services in Morristown and opened satellite office. Heating Improvement Program added to Weatherization program.
- In 1993 Created PIC program which trained workers and had a job developer funded by the Department of Labor.
- In 1995 MCOHA received a grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s New Jersey Health Initiative program for a three year period to provide special health education programs to the Latino Community. This year MCOHA also developed and implemented a leadership training curriculum. MCOHA also worked together with community members to develop a Spanish homeowner workshop which spun into Morris County Housing Partnership. MCOHA had its first Leadership Gala. Distributed First MCOHA Newsletter.
- In 1996 MCOHA participated in a MARCH TO Washington where one million workers, students, immigrants, and poor people marched as a united voice. Partnered with New Jersey Natural Gas for Gift of Warmth
- 1997 First problems with community image. The program had to form a new Board and also lost the La Familia Clinic and Health Literacy Grant. First Anti Immigrant sentiments in Community. Started Newsletter again.
- In 1998 (NEW Exec. Dir.) Established a food Pantry.
- In 1999 MCOHA had an Open House for the community. Closed the street in from of our building and had a street festival. Provided 135 air conditioners as part of a new weatherization intiative.
- In 2000 MCOHA with Hispanic Information Center of Passaic established a citinship program. Second damage to public image. ED left and a new Board had to come into existence. Funders were ready to pull their support. The Center for Hispanic Policy Research and Development negotiated
- NEW Exec Dir. In 2001 formed Community Advisory Board. A full revamp of internal structure and policies. Morristown office reopens. MCOHA has full resource center for day labrers. Full year in the news of positive PR. The Home Energy assistance contract was started with the Department of Community Affairs of NJ. Only agency to provide this service for the county. First Computer Training Program class and graduates.
- In 2003 started working with NJ Shares. The Organization received a mini bus for transportation program.
- In 2005 new Executive Director-Again another problem with leadership and Board. Beginning of new Fiscal stability. New Grants for Outreach Worker which expanded program staff and New initiative through Highway Traffic Safety.
- In 2006 New ERA & Exec Dir. New private funding sources. Contracted with Board of Utilities for the Clean Energy Program(Residential Low Income Initiative) for two years. Changed vehicles for transportation program.
- In 2007, had an earmark for $25,000 for educational programs. Started the Immigrant Immersion Process and English as A Second Language classes again. Began Partnership with private funders and volunteers like Affinity Federal Credit Union and BASF Chemicals. Created Strategic Plan and first website for organization. New Logo for Organization.
- In 2008 expanded Home Energy Assistance Program. Started the Atrevete! program funded by the Dover Municipal Alliance which works with Dover High School students creating a safe driving campaign for high school students. First HEA and Outreach mobile unit. New vehicles for Outreach unit and transportation. New MISSION STATEMENT…“Morris County Organization for Hispanic Affairs mission is to advance bi-cultural exchange in the Morris County Community through programs providing information, education, and practical assistance.”
- In 2009 Stimulus funding for Weatherization. Opened new sites in Netcong, Butler, and Mount Olive. First Annual Three Kings Festival. First steps toward a capital Improvement program. Received a grant with the Zufall Health Center to provide community health Literacy for three years. Expanded Fiscal department.
- In 2010, First Green Festival. Suffered budget cuts in Outreach/Client Advocacy but expanded Weatherization Outreach recruitment unit. First Mascot introduced…Sunny! Seniors started the project for Haiti orphans.