PATERSON, NJ - Located in a three-story building at 59 Mill Street in Paterson, Oasis -- A Haven for Women and Children is a nonprofit organization that provides a wide array of services to the area’s neediest women and children.
Founded twenty-two years ago by two women who set out to provide meals to hungry women and children,
Oasis has emerged as a leading Paterson social service agency. Oasis provides women and children with the
resources and support they need to overcome the problems of poverty.
Oasis opens its doors every weekday and on Saturdays, from 8 am until 6 pm, and serves some 700 women
and children daily. (Starting in the fall of 2019, Oasis will also offer evening courses.)
The organization focuses on education and vocational training as a means of helping people rise out of poverty. Oasis provides:
2) academic after- school programs to help children and teens succeed in school;
3) a soup kitchen and other basic needs services, such as emergency food, clothing, and baby supplies; and
4) psychosocial support offered by three professional social workers.
“We provide a network of services, to meet all the needs of women and children, so they can lead their best lives. We treat each woman and child as an individual, with respect and compassion,” Executive Director Jennifer Brady told TAPinto Paterson.
Oasis envisions a community of women and children reaching their highest potential. Programs fall into four
areas (all programs are free to qualifying women and children):
1. Women's Education and Vocational Training: Oasis provides high school equivalency (GED), English as
a Second Language, computer, and a variety of vocational training courses (including certifications) to
women. Unique about Oasis is that they offer childcare for mothers while they are in class, removing a
barrier to education that so many women face. Oasis operates one childcare room for infants and
another for toddlers; children are nurtured by childcare professionals and volunteers. With free
childcare available, mothers can pursue the education and training they need find decent jobs.
2. Children's Education: Oasis runs an After-School Academy for 117 Paterson School District Children,
from 3 to 6 pm daily. The program aims to improve children’s reading and math skills and raise test
scores. Some 60 teenagers participate in an after-school program that includes a college-readiness
component. Oasis offers youth enrichment classes on Saturdays and a summer camp.
3. Basic Needs Assistance and Social Support for Women and Children: Oasis serves breakfast and lunch
every weekday, free to Oasis students and to women and children throughout Paterson. Oasis
distributes emergency food bags (enough to feed a family of four for three days) to families in need.
They distribute clothing and baby supplies, including diapers and formula.
4. Psychosocial Support for Women and Children: With three full-time social workers on staff, Oasis
provides students and community members with domestic violence support programs, crisis
intervention, and referrals. Oasis social workers carry out wellness assessments with over 400 women
annually, helping women identify and resolve problems and issues that get in the way of a better life.
To be eligible for Oasis free programs and services, women and children must qualify for SNAP assistance. The
agency makes every effort to help any individual who seeks assistance, no matter their story.
Oasis programs are run almost entirely with private funding—no more than 4 percent of the agency’s funds
come from government sources. With 25 full-time and 35 part-time staff members, the organization works
tirelessly to raise the approximately $3 million it needs to serve women and children every year. A variety of
corporations, foundations, and generous individuals provide the monies to keep Oasis doors open.
Volunteers help make Oasis programs work. In an average week, approximately 150 volunteers serve lunch,
care for babies and toddlers, sort and package items in the food pantry and clothing room, and tutor students
in the adult education and after-school programs.
Oasis serves women from twenty-five different countries. Many Oasis staff members speak multiple
languages, which helps ensure that the agency provides culturally-sensitive response to people of every
nation, culture, and religion.
Six days a week, every week of the year, the Oasis doors are open. Oasis staff and volunteers work tirelessly to
achieve their mission: to change the lives of women and children by breaking the cycle of poverty through
compassionate programs designed to feed, clothe, educate, and empower women and children in need.
To learn more about Oasis, to volunteer, donate, or to receive Oasis services, call Laetitia Cairoli, Director of
Development, at (973) 881-8307, ext. 105.
Oasis is located at 59 Mill Street, Paterson, New Jersey, 07501.