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Archdiocese of Newark stepping in to help N.J. residents dealing with poverty

Archdiocese of Newark helping residents dealing with poverty
Archdiocese of Newark helping residents dealing with poverty 02:13

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- More and more people are struggling to keep food on their tables and a roof over their heads.

Poverty has been increasing in the Tri-State Area at an alarming rate, especially in New Jersey.

But as CBS2's Christine Sloan reported, the Archdiocese of Newark is stepping in to help those in need.

A ribbon-cutting was held Monday for Mercy House in Jersey City. The Archdiocese of Newark center on Greenville Avenue will provide food, clothing, baby supplies, and even furniture to anyone who needs help.

The church will also continue to operate an existing boarding house upstairs, home to several dozen women, including Devern Jones.

"God brought me from a long way, from being almost homeless to here, and I thank God for this house here," Jones said.

Jones arrived at the house in 2018 after losing her apartment.

"What I lost that was beautiful, was better, [but] this is even greater because I still get to have a key and a lock to come into," Jones said.

The center is in what used to be a convent at St. Paul the Apostle Church. It's the second Mercy House location in New Jersey.

"We are not just giving a bag of food; we are about bringing the faith to people. We offer the sacraments if they want them, healing ministry, utility bill payment, package of diapers, package of food, everything and anything," said Cheryl Riley, director of Mercy House for the Archdiocese of Newark.

Jersey City Councilwoman Denise Ridley was instrumental in making sure Mercy House could operate in Jersey City.

"We know there are people in the community, residents ... people all over, going through a rough time right now," Ridley said.

Gloria Brown lost her computer consulting job during the pandemic. Living at the house allows her to look for work.

"Like so many people, I was affected by the pandemic, needed an emergency place to just lay my head and figure it all out and put my life together," Brown said.

The archdiocese is planning on opening two other Mercy House facilities. The Greenville Avenue center will be open two days a week.

Donations are welcome. For more information, please click here.

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