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Dina's Dwellings, Town Clock CDC's first housing project, integrated into First Reformed Church's historic sanctuary

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The Barbara Littman House, Town Clock CDC's first expansion project, used to be the sexton's house for First Reformed Church and now houses a family of survivors.


To provide permanent, supportive, and affordable homes to survivors of domestic violence and their children.

Partnership with First Reformed Church:

In 1971, a man set fire to the sanctuary of First Reformed Church, angry that the church was providing sanctuary to his partner who was a victim of abuse. The fire destroyed much of the historic sanctuary, including the chancel area and most of the historic stained glass windows. Over the past few years, the congregation of the First Reformed Church has diminished in number. Though a still a vibrant community, the church no longer has the resources to maintain a historic building of the church’s size. The fire’s destruction and the dwindling congregation numbers could be seen as signs of a church that is at the end of its days. However, they can also be the catalyst for many new opportunities.

Concerned congregation members and community leaders came up with a creative solution to address their problems in a way which could help solve a greater social issue, one which affected their own church. While some faith-based organizations support and fund affordable housing and adaptive reuse efforts, Town Clock CDC is the first to integrate affordable housing into a sanctuary space.


Though the church was originally destroyed for providing sanctuary for a victim of abuse, its rebuilding ensures that the space is used as a worship space while providing sanctuary for survivors of domestic violence.

The Town Clock, located in the steeple of the First Reformed Church, is owned, operated and maintained by the city of New Brunswick. However, it is physically located inside of the church. With that spirit, Town Clock CDC hopes to use the facilities of the historic First Reformed Church to provide direction for the greater community of New Brunswick. When the resources of the public, private and faith-based realms are combined, great things are possible.

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coLAB Arts engages artists, social advocates, and communities to create transformative new work.

coLAB Arts facilitates creative conversation through innovative programs and artist infrastructure, connects artists with community partners and mentors, and executes productions that challenge perceptions and inspire action.

coLAB Arts' 2019 Summer Institute

Partnership with First Reformed Church:

In 2019, coLAB Arts moved its offices and studio space to First Reformed Church, where it hosts meetings, workshops, performances, and events like the Summer Institute. During COVID-19, coLAB Arts staff were able to use this space to produce virtual content as it shifted its entire programming online. 

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