Eva's Village Announces 25 Years of Serving the Hungry, Homeless, Addicted and Poor in Paterson NJ

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Eva's Village, (http://www.evasvillage.org), Paterson, NJ, provides four-mission plan to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, cure the addicted and provide medical treatment to the homeless and working poor of New Jersey. Eva's Village is actively seeking donors, charitable contributions and volunteers to help them serve this deserving community in New Jersey.

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My son and I moved into Eva's Village Transitional Apartments last year and we are so happy. I am so grateful to Eva's. My recovery started here but it doesn't end. I don't want to do anything to ruin this. Miles has even said 'I got my Mommy back!'.

Eva's Village today announces 25 years of their commitment to the Hungry, Homeless, Addicted and Poor in New Jersey. Eva's Village continues to expand their programs to keep up with the ever growing demand and is seeking additional volunteers and charitable contributions to continue providing hope to people in need. As the IRS tax season is upon us and we are nearing April 15, it is important to note that Eva's Village is a model not for profit organization that depends on private contributions.

Clara T. entered Eva's Village Homeless Shelter for Mothers and Children shortly before Christmas one year. A school drop-out, she received her GED, took a course in welding, began work, moved into an apartment with her daughter, and was on the road to a productive, independent life.

But soon, Clara was addicted to crack cocaine, met a man and became pregnant with Miles, her son. She thought she could do it "all on her own" until she ended up homeless and on welfare.

As Clara says, she came to Eva's Village "…kicking and screaming. I thought shelters were dirty and unsafe. But Eva's Village was so clean - and the good food! When I picked my son up from school and brought him to Eva's, he said, 'Mommy, you should've done this a long time ago!'"

Eva's Village Residential Recovery Centers for Women treated Clara's addiction with counseling, education, job training, 12-step programs and support for the transition from addiction to hope, employment and independence.

Clara says, "My son and I moved into Eva's Village Transitional Apartments last year and we are so happy. I am so grateful to Eva's. My recovery started here but it doesn't end. I don't want to do anything to ruin this. Miles has even said 'I got my Mommy back!'."

Gustavo, a mentally ill homeless man, came to Eva's Kitchen for his one daily meal. Gustavo refused to sleep inside, had not bathed in five years and refused clothing, walking the streets in sandals even in all weather. In dire condition from frostbite, police escorted Gustavo to a local hospital. When told his toes would need to be amputated, Gustavo left the hospital untreated.

Eva's Village' medical director sought Gustavo out and brought him to Eva's dedicated nurse who cared for his feet daily. Finally, Gustavo was persuaded to bathe, accept clothes and even stay overnight at Eva's. Ultimately, Gustavo allowed one of Eva's volunteer podiatrists to perform surgery and his toes began to heal. Gustavo now lives in Eva's Village Homeless Shelter in NJ and checks in at Eva's clinic regularly for medication monitoring and wound care.

Proving that one good deed begets another, a volunteer in New Jersey at Eva's Kitchen was inspired by Gustavo's story to do even more. Matthew R., a high school student volunteering at Eva's Kitchen, came to know Gustavo and learned that maintaining clean, dry feet is a serious medical issue. President of his class, captain of his basketball team and not one to be passive, Matthew formed "Eva's Sock Drop" and has collected over 8,000 pairs of new socks (and counting) for the homeless.

Matthew inspired, and was the recipient of, the first Annual Eva's Village Service Award, established by the Eva's Village board of directors in 2006.

Many other volunteers, some with more than 20 continuous years of service to Eva's Village, provide vast amounts of food, cook and serve in Eva's Kitchen and provide many other valuable materials and services.

Originally a New Jersey soup kitchen, Eva's Village was founded in 1982 by Msgr. Vincent E. Puma in response to the homeless problem in his Paterson, NJ parish. But Msgr. Puma soon realized that a soup kitchen was not enough. By 1996, when -- with the generous support of donors and private and government grants -- Eva's moved to its new facility on Main Street, it had grown into a full-scale "village" meeting the needs of the homeless, addicted and poor.

Today, Eva's Village is one of the most respected anti-poverty programs in New Jersey, with many programs that respect the human dignity of individuals:

Eva's Village Kitchen serves an average of 240 meals daily to the homeless.

Eva's Village Central Intake offers extensive case management for the poor and addicted.

Eva's Village Emergency Overnight Shelters for men and for women provide beds for chronically homeless men and women 18 years of age and older. Shelter clients receive food, shelter and clothing, plus assistance with progress toward independent living.

Eva's Village Shelter for Mothers and Children provides a safe and comfortable home for mothers over the age of 18 and up to 50 children who stay an average of four months in residence.

Eva's Village Transitional Apartments for Mothers and Children offers 6 two-bedroom apartments for families who need additional time and resources to move into their own apartment.

Eva's Village Men's Supportive Housing provides permanent affordable housing for formerly homeless men who have graduated from Eva's recovery.

Eva's Village Primary Care Clinic handles over 4,000 patient visits a year for medical, dental, and podiatric services to the homeless and working poor, largely provided through the generosity of volunteer physicians and dentists.

Eva's Village Residential Recovery Centers for Men and Women provide a three-phase treatment program usually lasting 9-12 months for those addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Eva's Village Intensive Outpatient Program offers counseling, group therapy, education, and aftercare based on the American Society of Addiction Medicine criteria, plus a full range of psychosocial services.

And the need is growing.

Eva's Village Director, Sister Gloria Perez, P.B.V.M. says, "At the end of the day I know we are doing good things but there is always so much more to do, and while the homeless and addicted are an ever present challenge, the numbers of the working poor, those with low-paying full time jobs, seem to increase every day."

Eva's Village is actively seeking donors and volunteers to help them serve the increasing numbers of the homeless, addicted and poor in New Jersey.

To donate to Eva's Village, to find our about volunteer opportunities in New Jersey, or for more information, go to http://www.EvasVillage.org, call 973.523.6220, or write to: Sister Gloria Perez, Executive Director, Eva's Village, 393 Main Street, Paterson, NJ, 07501.

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