CAB unveils new name and headquarters

Goodbye Citizens Advice Bureau. Hello Bronx Works. Citizens Advice Bureau, the Bronx-based non-profit also known as CAB, unveiled a new name, logo and headquarters on Friday, November 13. The new name, Bronx Works, represents the non-profit’s commitment to the Bronx, executive director Carolyn McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin, a 30-year veteran of the 35-year old non-profit, shared four interpretations of the word “works.” Bronx Works puts Bronx residents to work. Bronx Works employees work hard for the Bronx. Bronx Works is successful – it works! And Bronx Works offers an incredible range of social services, like a pizza with “the works.”

McLaughlin plans to launch new programs based on the name: Bronx Works for teens and Bronx works for seniors, for example. The non-profit’s new logo, blue like its old logo, features a bowl, a book, an apartment building and a circle – food, education, housing and community.

“This is one of the greatest organizations we have in the country,” Congressman Jose Serrano said. “It does a lot of work in important areas, in healthcare and immigration.”

McLaughlin and Bronx Works board members considered the name Citizens Advice Bureau confusing and outdated. The non-profit counsels non-citizens as well as citizens and offers more than advice, Bronx Works development director Ken Small said.

The name Citizens Advice Bureau originated in the United Kingdom, where CAB officers helped residents of England, Scotland and Ireland endure World War II. In 1972, an American social worker opened a CAB office in Morris Heights.

Bronx Works’ new three-story headquarters sits on E. Tremont Avenue between Walton and Morris avenues. The Booth Ferris Foundation and the Robin Hood Foundation helped to fund, and JP Morgan Chase financed, the $2.4 million, 9,000-square foot building. Construction finished on time and on budget, McLaughlin said. The headquarters will house Bronx Works administrators.

Bronx Works board chair Sean Delany reminisced about the non-profit’s original headquarters on Morris Avenue, scruffy and cramped. Years later, Bronx Works and the borough itself are transformed.

“When we started the Bronx was crumbling,” Delany said. “It was a place to leave. Today, the Bronx is a place to arrive.”

Bronx Works boasts close to 30 offices in the borough. It offers language classes, hot meals and beds, performs HIV tests, counsels children, helps seniors and the homeless, and repairs apartments. Bronx Works assisted more than 35,000 people in 2008 and secured jobs for more than 700 Bronx residents. The non-profit employs some 600 people throughout the borough.

Deputy Borough President Aurelia Greene praised Bronx Works’ street homeless outreach team, set to relocate from The Banknote building in Hunts Point to Lafayette Avenue soon.

Reach reporter Daniel Beekman at 718 742-3383 or dbeekman@cnglocal.com

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