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Featured Mini-Grantee | Most Excellent Way of Life Center

2024-07-02T17:15:40-04:00July 1st, 2024|

Preserving Families in Crisis

The Most Excellent Way Life Center is a faith-based organization with a multidisciplinary approach to providing community services.  The center focuses on family preservation through a combination of social services, family reunification, recovery, mental health peer mentorship, and bilingual counseling.

HealthierJC + Most Excellent Way of Life Center

The Most Excellent Way of Life Learning Center believes that Building a Culture of Health means preserving families and improving the quality of life within the community, which positively impacts public safety for all Jersey City residents.  In 2023, the Most Excellent Way of Life Learning Center sought to specifically address the fentanyl public health crisis within the underserved and vulnerable communities of Jersey City. 

HealthierJC supports the holistic approach used by Most Excellent Way of Life Learning Center to take a community stand against the alarming fentanyl death rates of children and parents in recent years.  Focused on prevention and family unit preservation, the center provides trauma-informed social services, recovery services, mental health education and mentorship.

How was the Mini-Grant Used?

Thanks to the HealthierJC mini-grant, the Most Excellent Way of Life Learning Center successfully launched the Fathers of Most Excellent Way Fentanyl Awareness Outreach program in 2023.  

Funding helped compensate trained personnel (‘Fathers’) who participated in the fentanyl street outreach initiative and paid for the creation of outreach brochures.  Fathers engaged residents and initiated conversations about the dangers of fentanyl, and its impact on individuals, families and communities.   Brochures with the CDC’s fentanyl warnings were distributed in English and Spanish to individuals encountered on the street, and left in local businesses, addiction program locations, and homeless shelters.  

The Fathers of Most Excellent Way Fentanyl Awareness Outreach program empowered the community with information about fentanyl use, either intentionally or unintentionally, which contributed to creating safer households.  A portion of the mini grant was also used for a Sneaker & School supplies giveaway, which gave program Fathers the opportunity to discuss the dangers of fentanyl with young people and over 50 Jersey City families.

In total, the Fathers of Most Excellent Way Fentanyl Awareness Outreach program distributed brochures to over 300 Jersey City residents and households.  And outreach Fathers directly interacted 1:1 with minority, women, veterans, seniors, individuals with disabilities, low Income, and young people in Wards A and F.

Making a Difference…

“With those mini-grant funds, we did an amazing job of putting foot soldiers in the community to distribute information about Fentanyl.”
—  Gloria Walton, Executive Director, Most Excellent Way Life Center

Imagine losing 53 friends to fentanyl overdose.  That’s what happened to Dennis Bailey, who had benefited from the services of the Most Excellent Way Life Center and participated in the outreach program.  He spoke with several men who shared near-death experiences as a result of knowingly and unknowingly taking fentanyl.

“We saw a great response from the community,” Walton said. “They were easily engaged because of the opioid crisis and what is unknown about Fentanyl, how dangerous it is and how easy it is to access, knowingly or unknowingly.”

The organization put a bilingual team in the community. “We had great success,” Walton said. “Merchants allowed us to leave fliers and information and a brochure, which was a combination of information we got from CDC and personal testimony.

“It was a phenomenal grassroots intervention, and the community was very appreciative. The people we hired were former opioid users who had personal experience with Fentanyl. Many had overdosed, survived, and were in recovery.”

The mini-grant allowed the group to pay the outreach team at a decent wage. “They had to walk in the heat, and because they were users, they knew exactly where to go,” Walton said. “Sitting in an office, you wouldn’t know that. You have to be on the ground and in the culture: someone is shooting up here, there are people in need in that alley, that building, that basement.”

Moving forward, Most Excellent Way Life Center plans to continue The Fatherhood Engagement Project as a means to help ‘head-of-households’ recover from opioid and fentanyl substance abuse… and return to their families and society better prepared to face life’s challenges.

For more information about Most Excellent Way Learning Life Center, please visit the organization’s website at