Bergen and Essex County Catholic Charities assistance programs.

The programs available in northern New Jersey from Catholic Charities focus on providing self-sufficiency and basic needs. This can include a job, education, housing, and food. Other aid, some of which may be financial, is available as funding allows.

Education and employment assistance resources are extensive. This can include English as a Second Language, which offers literacy training, vocational English-language workshops, short-term skills training, and free career counseling. GED Preparation takes part in a classroom setting. Participants of this class will work on the skills needed to pass the high school diploma equivalency examination.

Having a decent paying job may be the best path to self-sufficiency. So case workers from Catholic Charities will help with job search and other employment activities. Participants will be able to learn the skills necessary for a successful job search in Newark and surrounding cities. This can include resume development, computer literacy skills and free Internet access.

Senior programs are available from the Engel Center. This Catholic Charities program is for the elderly and frail residents of Union County. This can include a caregiver support group, access to home delivered meals, senior housing, and information. It is run in partnership with agency on aging offices.

Additional vocation and job training is offered from the Boland Training Center. This is a comprehensive vocational training facility that operates in New Jersey and it is even accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). The program offers services approved by the N.J. Department of Labor.

One component is Production Services. It will help people develop work experience and skills through training in collating, assembly packaging, shrink film, and light machinery. Or individuals can register for Vocational Evaluation and Assessment. This is a program that can be used to assess vocational aptitudes and limitations. Testing offered includes standardized tests, work samples, and situational assessments. Career counseling is available as well.





The objective is to lead to job placement somewhere in the New Jersey region, including counties of Essex or Bergen. Work with a case manager on resume reviews, job search services, interview skills and general placement.

Non-profits partner with Catholic Charities on Dress for Success. The program is based in Newark and can provide candidates with free professional interview and work clothing. This includes suits, ties, dresses, or other needed items.

Immigration and Refugee Assistance/Services will provide guidance and assistance to qualified clients that have immigration problems. Specialists from the agency will provide inexpensive, yet high quality, legal assistance. This will address phases of the complicated immigration and naturalization proceedings. Clients can receive counseling and assistance in any matter involving immigration, refugee resettlement and citizenship. Some financial support may be available for paying bills over the short term.

Catholic Charities is part of the Emergency Food and Nutrition Network in New Jersey. This is made up of almost 100 church based food pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens in the Archdiocese of Newark. The centers are in all counties and regions, including Hudson and Bergen. Low income families can get free groceries and meals from the pantries.

Transitional and Permanent Housing for Homeless Families is available at St. Jude's Oasis. This is a short term, transitional and permanent housing program for the very low income and homeless families with children. Many people who use this program are not qualified for entitlement and other government benefit programs. The housing assistance program seeks to help families stabilize their housing situation in the community.




Each individual will be assigned to a caseworker for intake to determine needs in a host of areas. They can learn about housing, rental assistance, employment programs and even mental-health or substance-abuse counseling. The names of some of the centers include Canaan House, St. Rocco's Family Residence, Edna McLaughlin Residence, and St. Bridget's Residence.

The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark provides assistance to Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union Counties in New Jersey. While many locations are open in the region, the main center is at 505 South Avenue East, Cranford, NJ 07016. Call (908) 497-3944 for intake.


By Jon McNamara

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