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NJCDC Partners in Free Community Services Fair in Paterson

NJCDC Partners in Free Community Services Fair in Paterson

May 10, 2023

On Saturday, April 22 both our Neighborhood Help Center and Paterson Financial Empowerment Center partnered with the New Jersey Coalition of Peruvian Leaders and Institutions to host their first Community Services Fair in celebration of their sixth anniversary. This fair was organized by the Coalition to give the immigrant community that they serve the opportunity to obtain free services that would not usually be readily accessible to them.

Nearly 500 families gathered at Church La Gran Comision throughout the day to receive valuable information from more than 20 community partners who specialize in immigration, health insurance, mental health support, education, and other services. Community partners included St. Joseph's Health, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Valley Bank, Amerigroup, the Paterson Department of Health & Human Services, and the New Jersey Office of Minority and Multicultural Health. Many attendees had a special interest in learning about the immigration process and also how to obtain a driver's license in the state of New Jersey.

We were so grateful to be able to raise awareness at the fair about the services that NJCDC provides through our NHC and the Financial Empowerment Center! The NHC is a community space open to Great Falls Neighborhood residents who need assistance with issues including housing, immigration, job readiness, educational opportunities, financial literacy, and more. The recently re-launched Financial Empowerment Center offers free financial one-on-one counseling on budgeting, credit repair, saving strategies, and so much more to Paterson residents in partnership with the City of Paterson through its Office of Financial Empowerment.

Attendees were so excited and thankful for the opportunity to learn more about the many services available to them! Attendee Flavio Quispe, who recently came here from Ecuador said, "Thank you for the invite and putting all this together. Our community needs so many of these resources that were given to us today. The organization knows what the new immigrant community needs. Excellent work!

Volunteer Geraldine Ramos remarked, "I cannot be more thankful to the NHC and NJCDC for working with organizations such as the Peruvian Coalition and bringing together key organizations who understand our needs. We would like to learn how to navigate the system to better our life. And through organizing events like the service fair and the one-on-one counseling offered, we can get rid of the barriers and continue our lives in this beautiful country. We are not here to just get help; we would like to help too!"

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