Isles, Inc.

Rating: 5 stars   27 reviews

Issues: Homeless & Housing, Economic Development

Location: 10 Wood Street Trenton NJ 08618 USA

Mission:

Founded in 1981 by students and faculty of Princeton University, Isles is an award-winning community development and environmental nonprofit organization. Isles’ mission is to foster self-reliant families in healthy, sustainable communities.

 

Isles is known for its comprehensive approach to complex community challenges, offering services such as:

  • Green job training
  • Green real estate development
  • Community gardening
  • Homebuyer education
  • Foreclosure prevention counseling
  • Community planning
  • Youth training and education
  • Micro-business loans
  • Environmental education and remediation

 

To broaden its impact, Isles develops easily replicable approaches to community development. Isles works with hundreds of public, private, and academic partners to achieve innovative, cost-effective ways to accomplish its mission. In addition to community-based development services, Isles works to change regional and statewide policies that concentrate poverty, undermine schools, promote sprawl, and foster racial segregation.


Geographic areas served: Trenton, NJ
Programs:

Isles’ Center for Energy and Environmental Training collaborates with private industry, labor, state and local government, higher education, and community-based organizations to train New Jersey residents for green jobs that improve the environment and stimulate the economy. Training is available for community members seeking entry-level positions in green careers, workers wishing to advance their skills and certifications, and employers seeking customized training for their employees.

2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

EIN 22-2350832
609-341-4700
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Isles has been a leader for over thirty years in providing pathways to better, more sustainable lives to many under served residents of Trenton. They create gardens, housing and jobs while also providing the necessary guidance to assure that folks will be able to sustain their stability.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Working with Isles was such a rewarding experience! The organization takes a very holistic approach to community development. They also don't impose on any of the community members, and the community members become involved in the organization by their own choosing, which helps make Isles' change long lasting. One of my favorite aspects of working with Isles was being able to work with the YouthBuild students. The students truly inspired me in their hard work and dedication, and their creativity and kindness. Another strong point about Isles is that it brings a broader awareness to the struggles of Trenton residents. Although Princeton is only 8 miles from the state capital, people so quickly forget the struggles of their neighbors when they don't see them first hand. Isles does a great job at raising awareness to the impact of poverty and food security, among other things, to this broader Mercer County community. I strongly believe in Isles' mission, and think that they have been able to bring about such positive impact on Trenton and its community.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

My volunteer experience with Isles provides me with many opportunities to learn about the organization and the community served. Every staff person I have interacted with is committed to the mission, talented, and generous. It is a diverse group of really good people who know how to do their jobs, and that creates a dynamic environment. I feel like the work I do is recognized and that I am helping the community.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

It has been a learning experience and a pleasure to serve at Isles. This organization is like none I've ever worked with and I have over 10 years of experience with nonprofit organizations as an employee and a volunteer because their work directly serves the community and helps empowers people in a way I have been able to participate in and witness. I have not really seen this type of impact in other organizations that I've worked with. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and professional and the work I was able to participate in various meaningful projects in several issue areas (community gardening, lead testing and education, health and fitness initiatives for children). I look forward to working with Isles in their future endeavors and will continue to get my friends involved as well.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

I helped gut an abandoned warehouse for future multi-function use. Paying special attention to source separation for recycling reinforced the LEED Platinum goals. And the building will be a huge win-win-win for sustainable design, the community, and its residence. The mission of Isles pervaded everything about the project. And, oh yeah, smacking apart old concrete was a lot of fun!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Person!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Inspiring. The head of the organization gives great 'pep talks' -- "The greenest building is the one you don't tear down."

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Turn every abandoned warehouse in NJ (and there are lots of them!) into useful, vital elements of their communities.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Isles is a community development and environmental organization that helps families and neighborhoods achieve health and self-reliance. Isles' array of services and training empowers people to improve their lives, families, communities, and the environment. My family and I have helped and will continue to work on renovating an old textile mill. This will allow Isles to centralize much of their activities. We have attended one of their House and Garden Tours. Isles renovates existing urban homes that are attractive, affordable, energy-efficient, and healthy for the occupants and workers.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

bringing people together to develop and to realize the benefir to the community as a whole. These goals are realized on a daily basis by seeing the progress in the renovation of Mill One and urban houses, or in the productivity of the community gardens.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

to see people who really care! It would be such a sad world if people didn't care.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Truly a community-based organization that believes in helping people gain the skills to be independent. They bring together people from the city and the surrounding area to work together. I worked with volunteers from a college alumni group and ISLES trainees on a factory rehab project. My wife and I were happy to pledge in their capital campaign.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the sense of a community working together.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

committed to making a difference.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

I have worked alongside this group for several years now. Their mission and vision of how to accomplish this vision is breathtakingly wonderful. They actually listen to the people they try to help and incorporate the vision of the community into the help that is offered. They are also incredibly focused on sustainability in everything they build or even do. Buildings should be more sustainable. The help they give is all about allowing people to be self-sustaining. You could not support a more worthy organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

working alongside the people from impoverished Trenton, NJ as they work to build Isles' future HQ and learn a trade at the same time.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that their leadership is so giving and wise.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated to the cause.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

create this nation's best training facility to train the next generation of community developers while focused on eco-friendly, sustainable practices.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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