Community Resources

The Passaic County Catholic Family & Community Services (CFCS) offers local residents access to several different assistance programs. Examples of the programs offered are below. Call them to apply for help or learn more. 973-279-7100

  • NJ Shares Energy Assistance - This program, which is supported by New Jersey and local utility companies, provides customers with financial assistance for paying heating and utility bills. Applicants to the program must have shutoff notice or have had service cut off already. The NJ Shares program is aimed at those families and individuals who are experiencing short-term financial challenges or hardships, cannot pay their utility bills and the applicant must also have exhausted all other available resources and assistance programs.  

  • Emergency Food and Housing Services - The Catholic Charities, which is headquartered in Paterson New Jersey, offers a wide variety of services and resources to families who are in a crisis. There is also a food pantry onsite that offers a three day supply of emergency food and other aid. In addition, for those people who are facing lockouts or shut off notices of their utility services, there are cash grants and financial assistance which is also available. For those people who are experiencing or on the verge of homelessness, the project also offers rent help.

  • Legal Services - Get advice and access to services including legal education, immigration matters, landlord/tenant matters and eviction help, domestic relations, entitlement advocacy and other free legal advice.

Family Intervention Services, Inc. is another New Jersey based non-profit that provides a wide variety of assistance programs. They offer a family crisis program, family stabilization, community client, and other aid. 973-523-0089

Food pantry and assistance

AME Zion Williams Chapel/Food Pantry & Clothing Assistance provides both clothing and food. The organization operates a food pantry that needy families in the community can turn to for help. This food distribution site is also a member of the Passaic County Emergency Food Coalition. They provide free food, clothes, and can refer people to other programs. 973-472-3256

Love of Jesus Church also operates an emergency food pantry for needy members of the local community. This food distribution site is also a full-fledged member of the Passaic County Emergency Food Coalition. 973-742-6718

The local community action agency, NORWESCAP, also runs a Food Bank that provides aid in the relief of hunger by providing food and support to those in need. 908-454-7000.

Christian Fellowship Center is another Paterson NJ Food Bank. 973-742-4953

CUMAC/ECHO provides up to 5 days of food and groceries to Passaic County and Paterson low income families. 973-742-5518

Help for rent, energy bills, and other financial assistance in Passaic County

Catholic Family & Community Services (CFCS) offers programs that offer the low to moderate income a variety of resources and services. They were created to aid families in crisis. There is a food pantry on-site offering a three day supply of emergency groceries and food. For those facing lockouts, evictions or shut off notices of their heating and utilities, there is financial assistance available to help pay rent, utility bills, and heating expenses. Paterson New Jersey. Call (973) 279-7100, or click here details on Catholic Charities Passaic County.

Center for Family Resources, which is based in Clifton, provides rent help, emergency food assistance (from a free food pantry on site), mortgage help, and utility bill assistance. Additional services include Head Start for children, or the center may have government grants for paying back rent from the Emergency Food and Shelter program. Call 973-472-8880, or click more financial aid from Center for Family Resources.

Paterson Task Force for Community Action, Inc. (973-279-2333) helps residents of Paterson, New Jersey. The programs they administer include:

  • Housing and renter assistance - They are a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) counseling agency. Get free foreclosure prevention counseling, help in dealing with landlord-tenant rights, and assistance in dealing with unfair or illegal landlord practices, and eviction. Additional eviction prevention and rent assistance programs.

  • Weatherization services - Get free help to save on utility and heating bills. Improvements can be made to your home, such as caulking, windows, and heating system updates and replacements.

  • Home Energy Assistance Program - Low income residents can get help paying for heating and utility bills, and emergency assistance to prevent a disconnection.

  • Food and Nutrition Program - Get free food and other assistance to help feed your family.

Center for Food Action – A number of resources are offered by the non-profit. For example, it provides security deposits, emergency free or low cost food, advocacy, rent, and limited utility bill assistance for qualified persons in need. There is also special holiday food assistance at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The location also participates in NJ Shares. the main office is at 145 Carletondale Rd, Ringwood, NJ, 07456, 201-529-2029, or read more information on Center for Food Action.

Passaic County Board of Social Services – The government agency offers social services and public assistance including Emergency Financial Assistance for paying rent and utilities. Other public aid includes TANF, Food Stamps, Medicaid, Special Medicaid for Blind/Disabled, NJ Kid Care, child support and paternity issues. Most of this is for very low income families or those living in poverty.

United Passaic Organization - Gas and electric bill assistance may be provided. Applicants must first apply to the federal government funded HEAP or Lifeline and cannot be on welfare. Their financial assistance program is targeted to persons who have exhausted all other available resources, are faced with short term financial difficulties, and people who cannot pay their monthly utility bills but have no other options. Applicants must also be faced with a shut off of their power.

Paterson Division of Housing, Community Development offers referrals and advocacy to employment programs, emergency rental assistance, free food, housing, legal help, and literacy programs. They can also relocate families from unsafe apartments or housing in the region. 125 Ellison Street, Paterson, New Jersey. 973-321-1212

Northwest New Jersey Community Action Partnership is a leading non-profit community action agency for the county. The organization, known as NORWESCAP for short, can arrange for emergency rental help, free food, and self-sufficiency. Services for children include meals from the Backpack Program, Head Start, and snacks. The agency will also processes applications for heating bill assistance. Find assistance programs from NORWESCAP.

Beyond Today is a non-profit that can provide guidance, referrals, and help in applying for programs such as NJ New Jersey SHARES. This is the state’s main heating and utility bill assistance program. Other resources can include water payment assistance from H2O Help to Others as well as the Verizon Lifeline program. Or get information on food stamps, Medicaid, and other government run programs. 175 Market St, Paterson, New Jersey, 07505. 973-569-9100

Debt reduction and credit counseling

If you are struggling with your mortgage, credit card or medical debts, Lighthouse Credit Foundation, Inc. (201-909-3709) offers credit and budget services. The non-profit organization provides debt and credit counseling, education, foreclosure advice, and assistance to those with unmet financial needs or limited resources. Learn more on New Jersey foreclosure assistance programs.

Consumer Credit Counseling of NJ (888-726-3260) also provides debt reduction services as well as foreclosure prevention.

Free legal services

The NJ Legal Services System (888-576-5529) provides free legal services and representation to low income Passaic County residents. Find assistance with civic issues that range from foreclosures, to evictions to divorce and domestic issues. Even get legal help dealing with debt collectors. Call them, or click here to learn more on free lawyer advice in New Jersey.

Help for paying heating and energy bills

NORWESCAP administers several program, including Home Energy Assistance Program, Weatherization, and NJ Shares. The weatherization program provides free energy conservation assistance services to income eligible households in Paterson and Passaic County to help them reduce their monthly heating and utility bills. NJ SHARES is another option that provides temporary utility bill assistance to income eligible individuals and families with their utility bills. Last, but not least, the Home Energy Assistance Program assists low to moderate income community members gain energy efficiency and have access to safe, affordable housing. Call the community action agency at 908-454-7000.

Health and medical care

Paterson Community Health Center provides health care for all patients, including low income and uninsured. The clinic is a federally qualified health center with a licensed professional staff offering both dental and medical including adult medicine, prescriptions, OB-GYN/prenatal care, and pediatrics. Most health insurance is accepted including Medicaid and SCHIP. The health center will assist families and patients in obtaining medical insurance. There is a sliding fee scale for resulting medical bills for the uninsured. 973-790-6594