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Our Journey

A Legacy of Empowerment and Evolution

Communities First Initiative’s journey began with a simple yet profound goal: community empowerment. Our roots trace back to 1994, when we were established as Trenton First, Inc., a New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation, with a mission to uplift the City of Trenton and its individuals through community-based programs, scholarships, and initiatives focusing on youth and literacy. Over the course of twenty-six successful years, we proudly channeled our resources into enhancing Trenton’s vibrancy by supporting vital programs.

Our efforts to empowerment and community uplift led us to realize: the need was greater, and extends beyond a single city. As the organization evolved, so did our understanding of the intricate web of factors that influence lives. We recognized that while providing safe shelter is paramount, it’s just the first step in a broader mission—a mission to address the multifaceted needs of communities. With this broader vision in mind, we rebranded as Communities First Initiative, Inc., a name that encapsulates our commitment to a holistic approach. 

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Shaping a Brighter and More Inclusive Future

Our approach remains firmly rooted in collaboration, partnering with local organizations and professionals to weave a tapestry of support services catering to diverse needs. From health and education to financial stability and empowerment, we tirelessly work to create an ecosystem where everyone can thrive. Today, CFI focuses on extending programs to low- and moderate-income residents, across all age groups and backgrounds. Through Vet B-Well, LLC, our wholly owned subsidiary, we extend these critical services to the veteran community, aligning with our vision to create vibrant, successful communities through improved access to programming and holistic wellness.

At Communities First Initiative, we’re more than an organization; we’re a community-driven movement. Together with our residents, partners, and supporters, we are shaping a brighter, more inclusive future. We invite you to join our mission, and together, put communities first.

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Our Logo: A Symbol of Our Mission

Our logo speaks volumes about the heart and soul of Communities First Initiative and the multifaceted approach we take to transforming communities. At first glance, you'll notice the strong, encompassing roof that forms the foundation of our work—affordable housing. Just as a roof provides shelter, our mission is to provide safe and stable housing as the cornerstone for individuals and families to build better lives upon. Surrounding this central roof are four windows, each representing a distinct facet of our commitment to holistic well-being. 


The first window stands for health, underscoring our dedication to ensuring that our community members have access to the healthcare resources they need.  The second window signifies education, emphasizing our belief in the transformative power of knowledge and the opportunities it unlocks. The third window is a symbol of food access, reflecting our tireless efforts to combat hunger and promote healthy eating habits.  The fourth window embodies financial stability—our commitment to equipping individuals with the tools and skills needed to achieve economic independence.


At the heart of our logo lies the open door at the forefront. This door embodies our promise of empowerment and inclusivity. We're not just providing housing and services; we're actively inviting individuals to step through that door, empowering them with the skills and knowledge required to not only survive but thrive. This door is a testament to our commitment to collaboration, community involvement, and the opportunities we create for individuals to shape their own futures.

Collectively, these elements form an arrow that points upward, representing our unwavering mission to lift communities towards brighter horizons. This upward trajectory symbolizes progress, growth, and the positive change we strive to bring to individuals and neighborhoods.

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