Joint Statement from a Coalition of Passaic County Non-Profits on the Action Steps They’ve Undertaken to Adapt and Meet the Needs of Our Most Vulnerable Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Coalition is comprised of the Boys & Girls Club of Paterson and Passaic, CUMAC, Oasis, Passaic County CASA, Paterson Habitat for Humanity, and Star of Hope Ministries

We’re in the midst of an uncertain and unprecedented period of time. However, our number one priority is to continue to meet the needs of Passaic County’s most vulnerable residents while protecting the health and safety of our clients, staff, and volunteers. In keeping with this commitment, we have joined forces to increase our impact and each of our organizations has adjusted our operations in accordance with the CDC’s social distancing guidelines.

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This pandemic is causing increased financial strain and other hardships on many families and individuals and consequently, more people will be in need of the services that our organizations provide. Moreover, the communities that we already serve are at even greater risk during this crisis. To this end, we are working together to ensure that we have the capacity and a comprehensive strategy to accommodate all affected Passaic County families during this challenging time. We believe that with collective action, we will get through this together.

Our organizations could not do this work without our generous supporters who have donated to us over the years. However, this public health crisis is straining our existing resources and could pose a threat to our operations should the situation worsen. Please consider making a donation to our organizations so we can continue to provide for the most vulnerable members of our community.

While we continue to adopt best practices and adapt to this fluid situation, we want to make sure our community is informed and up-to-date on the steps that we are taking to serve them while mitigating risk to their health and safety. The following is an update on the services and operational changes of our respective organizations.

The Boys & Girls Club of Paterson and Passaic

The Boys & Girls Club of Paterson and Passaic has suspended all programs and services but remains committed to serving the needs of the community. Currently, the organization is working in partnership with local, state, and corporate leaders to establish a virtual learning space that will not only be available for all youth, but also provide nutritional resources and parental support. The community will be notified when the program is ready for use. For more information, call (973) 279-3055. Donations can be made at https://www.bgcppnj.org/.

CUMAC

CUMAC will continue to stay open until further notice but will be adopting social distancing for the safety of staff, volunteers, and clients. The hours for food distribution are Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Evening distribution on Wednesdays will take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. At the marketplace entrance, staff will hand out bagged groceries based on family size. Donation information is available at https://www.cumac.org/. If you have a question, call (973) 742-5518 or email info@cumacecho.org.

Oasis - A Haven for Women and Children

Oasis will remain open as a food resource for the Paterson community, providing Grab and Go meals from the dining room Monday through Friday from 12 noon until 1:00 p.m. Social services will be available from 10 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. to distribute food bags, diapers, and other supplies as they are available. For more information, call (973) 881-8307. To support Oasis’ mission with a donation, go to https://oasisnj.org/.

Passaic County CASA
Out of an abundance of caution, Passaic County CASA has ceased in-person home visits for the month of March and closed its office location. However, all employees are working remotely. Limiting in-person contact will protect the volunteers, families, and the community at large. Because child abuse and neglect do not take a day off, CASA will continue to recruit volunteers, hold information sessions, and facilitate initial volunteer training virtually. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer advocate, email Jessica Mickley, Director of Outreach and Training, at jessica@passaiccountycasa.org, or call (973) 832-4002 for more information. For those looking to support CASA with a donation, visit https://passaiccasa.kindful.com.

Paterson Habitat for Humanity
All Paterson Habitat for Humanity locations including administrative offices, construction sites, and Restore are closed to the public. All volunteer activities and in-person meetings have been canceled. Staff will continue to work diligently to provide Paterson families with a decent place to call home. Also, construction work is ongoing. For more information, call (973) 595-6868. To make a donation, go to https://www.patersonhabitat.org/.

Star of Hope Ministries, Inc.
Star of Hope Ministries’ facility and thrift store are closed to the public until further notice. The organization is continuing to help those who are particularly vulnerable, and is currently accepting food and financial donations so staff and volunteers can continue to work with partner churches and non-profits around Paterson. If you are interested in making a donation, please go to www.sohm.org or call (973) 742-1222 x21. Anyone in need of help is encouraged to call the helpline at (973) 742-1222 x10. Star of Hope is also hosting a daily citywide prayer conference call from 12 p.m. until 12:30 p.m. by dialing number is (253) 993-3442. Have a prayer need? Text PRAY2020 to 797979.