Redesign of front waiting area

New Brunswick, New Jersey

Desired Services
Interior Design & Brand Integration,Facilities Renovation

Project Description

PRAB's 40 year history of exceptional service to Middlesex County, NJ began in 1969 with a modest group of volunteers and families who organized to provide English classes to recently-arrived immigrants. The organization was incorporated as a 501C3 private non-profit in October 1971. Over years of growth, the receipt of grant support and merging with other providers, PRAB has grown into a comprehensive human services organization providing services throughout Central Jersey including childcare; youth development; job training and placement opportunities; housing counseling; home energy assistance and weatherization; community advocacy and community development.

PRAB is widely recognized as the primary service provider in Middlesex County that can effectively provide bilingual and multicultural diversity through it services. This allows the organization to serve as a proactive agent for individuals and families whose needs are not addressed because of language barriers, discrimination, and lack of cultural competency. PRAB serves individuals from every background regardless of age, race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, familial status, sex, sexual orientation or functional impairment.

The organization is looking to partner with an interior design firm through theonepercent.org to redesign the front waiting area of PRAB's main office. The agency recently completed an agency-wide evaluation process to raise excitement about the future direction of the organization and engage key stakeholders in discussions to improve the design, shape and delivery of PRAB services. This process provided a unique opportunity for vendors, community stakeholders, including several funders, and clients to provide feedback that will influence the future direction of the organization and ultimately improve the agency's current design and delivery of services.

PRAB reviewed the data obtained during the evaluation process and found that a majority of the feedback received centered on the front waiting area space. Specific comments included that the front waiting area felt "overly crowded"and "uncomfortable"Ø. It has been challenging for the agency to make the front waiting area meet the needs of the various programs and services provided at the main office. This is particularly true for our Home Energy Assistance program, which brings heavy foot traffic to the office during the winter and early spring seasons. On an average day the agency sees anywhere from 30-40 clients, during the busiest part of the winter/early spring season this number can be as high as 150 clients. The agency is hoping the redesign of the front space will improve manage the flow of clients more effectively while creating a warm and welcoming space for our clients that reflects the organizational culture.