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New Jersey Churches Helping the Homeless


For 20 years, six Christian Reformed churches have joined other churches in northern New Jersey to help the Good Shepherd Mission in Paterson minister to men struggling with addiction or other issues.

From Thanksgiving to Easter, every night of the week the mission provides a gospel message, training, meals, and a bed for those who are homeless. The churches each assist by providing transportation for 10 men. According to Steven Bruining, coordinator of the program, the men are fed a “good Dutch dinner.” After dinner there is a Bible lesson, games, and fellowship.

The men sleep in the church building along with three members of the church. In the morning they receive a hearty breakfast and a box lunch before returning to the mission.

Deacons of the churches raise the money to run the program and recruit the many volunteers needed from each church. They obtain beds, cots, and bedding from hotels and the National Guard in the area. Each church also publishes the first names of the men along with their prayer needs.

Rev. Mike Vieira, the director of Good Shepherd mission, is thankful for the contributions of these churches because they allow the mission to minister to more men in the greater Paterson area.

The six Christian Reformed churches involved are Faith Community and Cedar Hill CRCs in Wyckoff, Unity CRC in Prospect Park, Midland Park CRC, Madison Avenue CRC in Paterson, and Covenant CRC in North Haledon.

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