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Eva’s Village


Paterson New JerseyEva’s Village Review

In response to a growing epidemic of homelessness and hunger in Paterson, New Jersey Monsignor Vincent E. Puma and other Catholic clergy members founded the non-profit social services agency Eva’s Village in 1982. Throughout the years, the organization has grown and currently has 18 programs, including outpatient substance abuse treatment and a residential program for adults and for women seeking a safe place to recover with their children.

Accommodations and Food

The residential program has a 103-bed capacity for men, a 36-bed capacity for women and 24-beds for women with children. The three programs are housed in separate buildings.

The dorm-style rooms are furnished with bunk beds and accommodate between two and six residents. During their stay, women and their children are provided with their own cozy pastel-colored rooms whose furnishings include a dresser, twin bed and crib or toddler bed, toys, lamps and rocking chairs. There are also laundry facilities, a playground for the kids and TV rooms.

Clients take turns (in groups of six) cooking meals for their fellow residents. Residents eat together in comfortable dining rooms in each building.

Treatment and Staff

Upon intake, clients receive comprehensive assessments which help counselors decide what course of treatment will serve them best. There is no on-site detox provided, but referrals can be made to nearby facilities if necessary. Treatment length is typically between four and six months and includes three phases, orientation, phase one and phase two. Dual diagnosis support is provided by a psychiatrist who visits weekly.

All treatment is client-centered and their values guide all clinical decisions. Evidence-based treatment includes group and individual therapy using a CBT and Motivational Interviewing approach, addiction education and attendance at 12-step meetings. During group therapy, residents discuss the reasons behind their addiction and gain self-awareness. Criminal justice clients can share about their court issues, while gaining peer support and counselor advice. Education topics include relapse prevention, co-occurring disorders and 12-step philosophy.

During the first phase, residents are encouraged to find employment and keep savings accounts at the facility, while continuing a less intensive level of care. During the second phase, treatment continues while residents prepare for graduation and establish aftercare goals that may include sober living, recovery support groups and outpatient therapy. The Women with Children program parallels the regular program for adults, except that the women are provided supportive services such as childcare.

The Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) accommodates 180 clients. Evidence-based treatment includes group therapy and substance abuse education. Participants attend groups between three and five times per week and sessions are available during days or evenings. Group topics parallel those discussed during residential care.

The large team that runs Eva’s Village includes administrative staff, CADC’s, LCSWs, tutors, chefs and psychiatric and volunteer medical staff.


Residents are provided with workforce development assistance. The Culinary School offers residents training in the food service business. Those in the program are also provided free services from the medical and dental clinic.

While their moms are in treatment or working, residential children receive a free childcare and education program. Children who have experienced abuse or neglect are provided with referrals to appropriate professionals for help. School-aged children participate in an afterschool program and summer program that includes trips to the Bronx Zoo and museums.

In Summary

A long-standing community resource in the Paterson area, Eva’s Village goes all-out to help financially challenged clients suffering from chemical dependency get back on the right track. Treatment is affordable and practical, providing useful services that are designed to help clients not just stay sober, but rebuild their lives.

Eva’s Village Location

393 Main Street
Paterson, New Jersey 07501

Eva’s Village Cost

Free. Reach Eva’s Village by phone at (973) 523-6220 or by emailFind Eva’s Village on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google +

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Photo courtesy of Sridhar (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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