Beverly and daughter © Courtesy of Eva’s Village
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After years of drug addiction, Beverly had a wake-up call when she found herself in prison and pregnant.
She gave birth to her daughter while incarcerated and had to leave her newborn baby at the hospital to return to jail. Beverly wasn’t sure that she would ever get the opportunity to raise her daughter—but she knew that if she was going to try, she had to change her life for the better.
The Hope Residence at Eva’s Village is a unique halfway house where women working on substance use disorders can live with and care for their young children. Many of the residents have previously been incarcerated. While the moms attend counseling sessions, workshops and meetings, the children receive nurturing, trauma-informed childcare and education. These families have access to safe shelter, healthy and nutritious meals, medical care, recovery support, and various social services.
Upon her release from prison, Beverly needed to find a path to recovery, get her papers in order and find a job if she wanted to get her daughter back. A tall order for someone just discharged from jail.
The Hope Residence at Eva’s Village was the answer. “Coming here, I was able to achieve all of these goals,” said Beverly.
The Hope Residence was created specifically for mothers seeking recovery. Research shows us that keeping family units together, when safe, is better for early childhood development. Also, when participating in other recovery programs, moms who have been separated from their children claim to be so worried about their kids that they can’t focus on their own recovery.
The staff at the Hope Residence take special care to teach the residents how to be good parents. “In addition to providing quality care and early education for the children, we teach these moms the basics of parenting, such as reading and singing to their children, the need for consistent bedtimes, and how to deal with meltdowns,” explained Mariella Beck, MAEd., CFLE Director of Childcare and Education. “Many of these women just haven’t had a support network before, and all moms need a lot of support.”
Beverly agrees that the Hope Residence helped her find her path to recovery and allowed her to become the loving mother she knew she could be.
“The people that work here, they are always advocating and fighting for you,” Beverly explained. “If you’re ready to help yourself, they’ll go to the ends of the earth for you.”
Today, Beverly and her daughter are thriving and living on their own. Beverly’s daughter, a rambunctious three-year-old, loves preschool and has many friends. Beverly has a job she enjoys that allows her to spend lots of time with her daughter.
“I’ve really grown in this process, as I’m getting to know her, I’m getting to know myself all over again. Coming here was the best decision I’ve ever made.”
About Eva’s Village
Established in 1982 as a soup kitchen, Eva’s Village has evolved into one of the most comprehensive, anti-poverty nonprofit organizations in New Jersey. Eva’s Village is located in Paterson, New Jersey, offering care and support to individuals struggling with hunger, homelessness, poverty and addiction. Through integrated, comprehensive social services and behavioral health programs, Eva’s Village empowers these individuals to lead healthy, independent, secure lives.
Eva’s Village offers many programs and services, including a Community Kitchen serving free meals; Emergency Overnight Shelters for Men and Women; a Halfway House for Men, a Halfway House for Women, and a Halfway House for Women with Children (the Hope Residence); the Recovery Community Center offering peer-to-peer based recovery support; Outpatient Substance Use Disorder clinical programs; Outpatient Mental Health services; Workforce Development; and Childcare for the children residing in the Hope Residence.
For more information or to support Eva’s Village, visit: EvasVillage.org/globalheroes
Eva’s Village is a nonprofit, comprehensive behavioral health, and social service nonprofit organization with a mission to provide care and support for people struggling with poverty, hunger, homelessness, and substance use disorders.