The transformations that make it possible for individuals struggling with the challenges of hunger, homelessness, and addiction to rebuild their lives and move towards recovery at Eva's Village, would not be possible without the dedication of our front line workers and the generosity of our donors, especially during this pandemic. All of these individuals, staff, clients, volunteers and donors, are often behind the scenes, doing the hard work that make miracles happen; whether they are supporting our programs, working with clients or making progress towards goals to build long-term recovery and make a fresh start.
Front Line Heroes
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed an added level of stress on all mothers, but some, like Ella are showing remarkable courage and strength. Ella and her daughter moved into Eva’s Halfway House for Women With Children in our Hope Residence 7 months ago. When they arrived, Ella was fleeing an abusive relationship. Since then, she has been able to turn her life around. Find out how here.
Running an infirmary for COVID-19 patients was never on the list of career goals for John Reagan, Senior Peer Coordinator at our Recovery Community Center, or Michael Rivera Eva's Outpatient program director, but supporting and protecting clients in recovery has always been and remains their first priority. Find out how they are supporting clients as they recuperate here.
Watch this video to learn 82-year-old Clifton's amazing story - which showcases teamwork, resiliency, and courage, and shows how these forces working together can accomplish not one, but two miracles. Eva’s shelter and infirmary staff, medical team, Paterson's first responders and family connections all came together to coordinate care and support for our well-loved shelter client, who beat COVID-19 AND reconnected with his family. We see miracles happen every day at Eva's Village!
Meet Josette, Manager of Eva's Mommy & Me program at our Halfway House for Women with Children. "I can honestly say that I do what I do because I genuinely love what I do. I care, I want to be here and I want to make sure the moms and kids are not exposed to anything." She and her team manage the house's day-to-day operations, a job that has grown more complex during the pandemic. Read more of Josette's story here.
Meet Curtis, Eva’s Facilities Director. Ordinarily, his job is challenging – maintaining building systems, supervising emergency repairs and cleaning for Eva’s 11 buildings, spread across three blocks. Now, during the pandemic, his work is saving lives. Read more of Curtis' story here.
Addiction stories often repeat generationally, as they did with Joy and her children. Read how Joy changed her family's story of addiction. "I felt hopeless. I didn't think recovery was possible." Read Joy's story here.
"I'm ready for the challenge. . . I'm going to use everything I've learned here about myself as a woman and a mother, and as a recovering addict." Watch Emily's story here.
"When I look at where I am now, it’s hard even for me to understand where I came from. Nearly two years ago, when I gave birth handcuffed to a hospital bed, I knew I had reached the very bottom — I felt completely alone, and I was scared." Read more of Marie's story here.
Moving into an Eva’s Village apartment felt like a homecoming to 75-year-old Joseph V. A team of Eva's staff and county social service providers also celebrated this happy ending to months of hard work to secure permanent, affordable housing for him. A Paterson native, Joseph grew up on Slater Street and attended P.S. 3, just blocks away from his new home. Read more of Joseph's story here.
Meet 32-year-old Dylan who shares his recovery story in his own words:
"Hi, my name is Dylan.
Eleven years ago, when I was 21, I had a solid job at a design firm, my own apartment and I was looking forward to creating a good life for myself. Then I started to experience numbness and tingling in my limbs. Eventually I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and my doctor prescribed me oxycodone for my chronic pain. The pills relieved my pain, but they also took away my depression and made me feel like I could do anything." Read more of Dylan's story here.
Christine & Eli
Children bring us great joy, but parenthood can sometimes feel overwhelming--especially for a single mother. Single moms who struggle with substance use and mental health disorders face even greater challenges. Christine was trying to manage all of these issues, and was looking for a stable place for herself and her four-year-old son Eli, when she found her way to the Hope Residence at Eva’s Village. Read more of Christine's story here.
Eva's is my safe haven.
I came from a good family. I was an only child, and I never knew my father. My mother had experienced trauma and was very strict. She took care of me but couldn’t give me her love when I was growing up. Read more of Wendy's story here
We are grateful for the overwhelming support and generosity that was extended by the Angel Tree program, led by the Bergen County NAACP photographed here with the Bergen County, NJ Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and other individual supporters. Read more here.
Eva's Village received a very generous donation from rock legend Billy Joel in memory of his close friend and mentor, Walter Yetnikoff, who passed away Aug. 8. Walter was a longtime supporter of Eva's Village and a close friend of Eva's founder, Msgr. Vincent Puma. Read more here.
Fiserv SOARS NY Metro Chapter dropped off a generous donation of back to school supplies for children in our Hope Residence and Eva's Apartments. Read more here.
Stop & Shop volunteers packed and distributed hundreds of bags of fresh, locally-grown produce they donated to our to-go lunch guests. Read more here.
KNITTING FOR KIDS: Project Linus' North Jersey Chapter donated 120 handmade blankets to the babies and kids at Eva's Hope Residence. Read more here.
PATRIOTIC PALLETS FOR A PURPOSE: Isabella Marino raised funds for Eva's by breathing new life into some old pallets donated by LL Flooring. A rising senior at Academy of the Holy Angels in Demarest, Marino painted and sold a pallet a day for 30 days. Her donation will underwrite nearly 200 meals prepared by Eva's Community Kitchen for our neighbors in need. Read more here.
A freshly-prepared meal can be the first step to a lifelong recovery journey. Find out more about several groups that joined together to make a donation of delicious meals to Eva's Community Kitchen and at the same time supported a local restaurant. Read more here.
A Twitter post about surplus bananas in Sussex County caught the eye of John Baumgartner, one of our longtime volunteers, recently. "I thought, what the heck, nothing ventured, nothing gained, and I knew Eva's could put them to good use." Find out how John got them to Eva's here.
To fill the time while she and her family were quarantined, Madeline thought of making masks for people in need - and Eva's immediately came to mind - a place where her family's roots run deep. Read more about Madeline's connections to Eva's Village here.