PATERSON, NJ - With a laserlike focus on empowering those that enter their doors to break the cycle of poverty, Paterson non-profit Oasis serves over 700 women and children a day in their Mill Street Headquarters. Their approach, the organization’s Executive Director Jen Brady has said, is a holistic one, helping women meet many of the demands of parenthood by providing not just the education but also childcare and meals.
The only impediment to increasing those numbers, Brady told TAPinto Paterson, is space.
That is all set to change following the Paterson Planning Board’s approval of a $6 million dollar expansion which will include the addition of a fourth story, as well as construction of a new two-story building that will be attached to their existing space.
With an expected construction period of 10 months the added space will, among other things, include more classrooms for adult students in the Oasis’ ESL, GED, and professional training programs; create private tutoring and counseling areas; and double the size of their childhood development center.
As is typical with Oasis, the real focus of the project, Brady said after the unanimous approval was secured Wednesday, is the people it will benefit most. “We are growing our space so that we can grow our impact in the community, helping those that are taking steps to help themselves.”
Once completed the site at 55-61 Mill Street will be able to welcome 250 school children into after-school education enrichment programming, or as Brady referred to it “not just babysitting,” and provide care for 36 babies while their mothers are enrolled in classes. Both numbers, Brady said, double the current capacity.
“Our focus on growth, with an eye towards sustainability, will ensure that women and children in Paterson continue to chart a path out of poverty through Oasis programs for generations to come.”
Know a story we should share with readers? Email editor Steve Lenox and tell him about it.