The Need in Paterson
Paterson is one of the poorest cities in the state, with 50,000 residents living in deep poverty. The Coronavirus pandemic has made conditions worse for many low-income families. Unemployment is now as high as 29 percent, more than double the rate in the state as a whole. Families struggle to pay rent and utilities and put food on the table.
The Need for Oasis Expansion
The number of women and children seeking Oasis services has increased rapidly in recent years. In 2017, we served 500 women and children each day. By 2019, this number had doubled, and 1,000 women and children came through our doors daily, seeking Oasis antipoverty programs and services.
We are forced to turn away many women and children seeking services because we have no room to serve them. We lack classroom space for after-school students and for women desperate to learn English. We don't have enough room for infants in our childcare rooms.
We need to expand our current building, to accommodate those who need our help.
Why Expand Now?
Due to the (temporary) need for social distancing, many of our students are now virtual and there are fewer women and children in our building daily. In addition, construction expenses are low. It is a perfect time to build.