Drop In Center

Operates daily to provide hundreds of youth, teens, and adults with a safe place to hang out and to interact with adult staff, volunteers, and peers: offering recreation, counsel, and assessment of needs. Furthermore, we offer activities including field trips to cultural institutions and other venues for positive growth.

We also partner with the Essex County Youth Detention Facility to assist with Mentoring Youth, and Greater Life sponsors an annual Thanksgiving Meal on-site. This affords an opportunity to offer youth a "safe haven" to come to upon release.


Kidstitute is an after school educational enrichment program targeting behaviorally challenged youth who are ineligible for, underserved, or unexposed to traditional after-school programs due to discipline problems or a lack of parental involvement. There are currently three Kidstitute cycles each year, in the Summer, Fall and Winter.

The program is consulted by Anette Alston, former President of the Newark Teachers’ Association, under the direction of our Program Director, Scott Davis, with support from volunteer college education, psychology, and social work majors. Kidstitute complements traditional educational enrichment programs (informed by components of the Newark Public School Core Curriculum) with programs meant to capture the imagination and harness the creativity of our unique constituency: peer mentoring, leadership programs, and individual counseling and mentoring.

Metropolitan Urban Family Institute - Family Resource Center

Providing support to parents and guardians to enable them to build successful families, which will positively impact the community. Offering services to include case management in the areas of: crisis intervention, financial literacy/budgeting, food vouchers, housing assistance & referrals, marriage counseling & preparation, and health & wellness education, and job preparation & interview skills training.

Metropolitan Urban Leadership Institute

With our newly acquired facility, we will take our leadership development to the next level by establishing a coffee and snack shop that will be run by students & interns, with the goal of channeling students’ existing entrepreneurial instincts in a positive manner. Students will work on math skills by researching budgets and taking inventory, channel their artistic instincts by designing and decorating the shop, and work with program leaders to make executive decisions.

Year-Round Camping/Annual Retreat

Throughout its history, Greater Life has offered opportunities for youth to get out of the city through summer and school-year camping. One of its highlights has been hosting its annual “TEEN IMPACT” Church Partnership Youth Weekend retreat since 1989! Over the history of the program, we have collaborated with 72 churches/faith-based institutions on retreat programming that encourages 350-400 teens & leaders from ages 13 through 19, to challenge them to live up to their full potential, mentally, morally and spiritually. The campsite we use is located on Lake Champion, Glen Spey, NY, a beautiful setting in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York.


Every student who walks through Greater Life’s doors is assigned a mentor from our staff, senior interns, volunteers, or Board of Directors. These mentors take their responsibilities seriously, going beyond educational enrichments and providing advice and leadership that Greater Life students can use each day. This fully case-managed mentoring program is complemented by a set of peer mentoring programs, such as college prep and career exploration, Boy Scouts, G.I.R.L.S (Girls in Real-Life Situations),and faith in life discussions, where Greater Life students help their peers work through everyday problems responsibly, and to navigate their live successfully.

Community Organizing

Greater Life works with Mr. Wilton Sherman, a long-term community organizer, and other community residents to implement the Weequahic Homeowners Coalition which offices at our Community Outreach Center, seeking to improve the quality of life and address community concerns of the residents of the Weequahic Section of Newark’s South Ward. We also afford space for community block association meetings and Newark Police Block Watch Trainings.