Preserving Jersey City Families
Most Excellent Way Life Center is a faith-based organization that focuses on preservation of the family unit by promoting male ‘head-of-household’ engagement. Research has shown that people with an engaged and responsible father figure during childhood are more likely to have higher levels of success in their careers, a better chance of having a strong, lasting marriage, and an improved ability to handle stress.
Most Excellent Way Life Center has a multidisciplinary approach to help fathers succeed in their role of family ‘head-of-household’. Programs include family reunification workshops, addiction recovery and mental health peer mentorship, and professional bilingual career counseling.
HealthierJC + Most Excellent Way Life Center
For Most Excellent Way Life Center, building a Culture of Health in Jersey City means supporting and nurturing strong families within the community. They understand an engaged father figure anchors a family unit and leads to better emotional, academic, social, and behavioral outcomes for children. The Most Excellent Way Life Center programs closely align with the HealthierJC goals to address health and mental health challenges all residents face within at-risk neighborhoods. In awarding the mini-grant, HealthierJC acknowledged the ongoing contribution of Most Excellent Way Life Center in advancing a progressive urban Culture of Health within Jersey City.
The Fatherhood Engagement Project
Post-pandemic, Most Excellent Way Life Center launched The Fatherhood Engagement Project, which worked with ten (10) Jersey City fathers with a history of unemployment, incarceration, and mental health challenges.
Program participants with existing health challenges were referred to the department of social services to obtain insurance coverage. These participants typically received both insurance and EBT assistance for food. In addition, to core social services, the Fatherhood Engagement Project provided access to employment and educational opportunities, as well as mental health and addiction treatment across Hudson County.
The HealthierJC mini-grant contributed to six weeks of training outreach to male participants in Jersey City, primarily in Greenville, wards A and F. Although there were some logistic and Covid health challenges, the Fatherhood Engagement Project was deemed an overall success given the number of participants that were hired.
Of note was one participant who received a job interview despite a mental health diagnosis and history of incarceration. When this Jersey City father shared that he had never worked a legitimate job, the Fatherhood Engagement Project shifted the meeting strategy to discuss skills necessary to maintain employment. He was eventually hired, continued in treatment, and did not re-offend.
Moving forward, Most Excellent Way Life Center plans to continue The Fatherhood Engagement Project. They are committed to helping male ‘head-of-households’ recover from substance abuse and return to their families and society better prepared to face life’s challenges.
Future Most Excellent Way Life Center initiatives under development or consideration include delivery of interim housing and treatment programs in a faith-based environment.
For more information about Most Excellent Way Learning Life Center, please visit the organization’s website at https://www.mostexcellentwaylifecenter.com/