PATERSON, NJ - As Paterson officials have battled against the spread of COVID-19 across the city, the most vulnerable populations have been front of mind, Mayor Andre Sayegh has said. Among these residents are the city’s senior citizens, who have been supported through opportunities for free testing, access to exclusive shopping hours at local supermarkets, and the delivery of both free food packages as well as pre-ordered groceries through the Neighbor Express program.
On Monday, Sayegh announced an effort focused specifically on another cohort of vulnerable residents, the City’s homeless population. Through a partnership with the Passaic County Board of Social Services, Eva’s Village, the Paterson YMCA, and St. Paul’s CDC, these residents, many of whom have been given temporary shelter in area hotels since the spread of COVID began, will begin receiving additional medical care.
Operation Uplift, as it has been dubbed, is being made possible through the in-kind donation of services from the CDC Foundation. Through the initiative, 16 medical professionals, including doctors and nurses, will spend their time providing care, including COVID screenings, as well as monitoring of withdrawal from various substances, blood pressure, and diabetes.
“To help one homeless person, we’ve done an awful lot,” Sayegh said, adding that this effort isn’t just about preventing the spread of the potentially deadly respiratory virus in the homeless population, but also moving these individuals to a “path to permanency,” in terms of housing.
For those individuals seeking a long-term solution to their chronic homelessness, Sayegh offered that “hope is here.”
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