PATERSON, NJ- Seeking to “empower members of the community with alternatives,” Paterson non-profit Humble Beginnings will host a drug and health awareness day and community cookout on Saturday. The event, to be held in the parking lot of the Masonic Temple on Broadway will run from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The event, Akbar McEntyre, one of the organization’s founders, told TAPinto Paterson, is an opportunity to reach out to residents that require a variety of health and substance abuse services, but don’t know where to turn for them. Health screenings and substance abuse treatment options will be among the services available at the event.

A social worker by education and training, McEntyre has led an effort to conduct an extensive assessment of the health needs of vulnerable residents throughout Paterson, saying that the issues are not limited to the Fourth Ward but extend out across the city. They must, he stresses regularly at community forums and other events, be addressed in a holistic manner with an understanding that many of them arise from decades of public policies that have led to a continual downgrade of the socioeconomic status of those living in inner cities.