New Jersey’s largest orphanage has been closed for good, and the state is trying to find a new home for its 1,200-plus residents.
The New Jersey Department of Community and Economic Development (CEDED) announced on Thursday that the facility would close in September 2018 and move to a new location in Newark, a suburb north of New York City.
The announcement came after a letter to CEDED from the state’s Board of Supervisors in late May, which said that the agency had not received a request from the New Jersey Board of Regents to consider the site’s fate.
The facility was built in 1953 and has been a nonprofit institution for more than a century.
It’s located in the heart of Newark’s business district and is considered the heartland of the city’s economic development.
The facility has been criticized for not offering basic services, such as health care and food assistance.
In a letter from state Commissioner of Community Affairs, Patricia T. Tait, she said the state would be “grateful” for CED’s support and for helping it decide its next move.
Tait also said the facility had “been the focus of considerable community effort and community engagement.”
Tait wrote that the institution has been operating without any state or federal oversight since its opening in 1959.
The state also has struggled to find homes for its thousands of people.
In 2017, the state reported that only 25% of its residents had jobs and fewer than 40% had secured housing vouchers.