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PEQUANNOCK, N.J. – 2013 – In 1963, as President John F. Kennedy called on Congress to create a national program for mental health, Pequannock Township residents were mapping out their contribution to that vision: a community-based mental health center that would become known as NewBridge Services, Inc.
They had recognized a growing population struggling to cope with the demands of life and concluded that a place close to home, where both adults and children could get professional help, was needed. Over the years, NewBridge expanded and transformed, tracking shifts in community needs and providing effective programs to meet them.
As NewBridge celebrates its 50th anniversary, it stands as a premier provider of counseling, educational programs and housing in northern New Jersey, and a model of the community-based care President Kennedy called for.
“NewBridge didn’t give up on me when I did,” said Passaic County resident James Thompson, who, with NewBridge’s help, is making gains in overcoming crippling anxiety.
Each year, NewBridge helps more than 10,000 people overcome challenges and live better. NewBridge:
“The value of this organization to students, families and schools is inestimable,” said Butler Schools Superintendent Mario Cardinale. “NewBridge helps kids cope with everyday issues and the regrettable tragedies that life occasionally brings to us.”
“After heart attacks, broken bones, breathing problems ¬– you name it, NewBridge has been there to help me,” says 89-year-old Hilda Kouyoumjian. She has relied on NewBridge SAIL (Senior Assistance for Independent Living) since 1999 and still lives in her Morris County home.
Pequannock Mayor Richard Phelan said the township and NewBridge have shared a strong partnership from the start. “When someone in our town has a problem, NewBridge jumps right in to help,” Phelan said. NewBridge has helped residents cope with damaging floods and other tragedies, and created much-needed affordable housing, which the township helped to fund, Phelan said.
NewBridge has received numerous accolades over the years. In 2012 alone, the NewBridge Evans Place Housing project won a Governor’s Excellence in Housing and Economic Redevelopment Award, and Chief Executive Officer Robert L. Parker won the prestigious Ann Klein Advocate Award, which recognizes those who make extraordinary contributions to improving the lives of people with disabilities.
To celebrate its 50th anniversary, NewBridge will honor the founders, volunteers, staff and clients who have always been the heart of this vital organization. Throughout 2013, NewBridge will introduce The 50 Faces of NewBridge, individuals who embody the essence of NewBridge. Their stories will appear on NewBridge’s website, www.newbridge.org.
“NewBridge is proud of its ability to grow and change over five decades to respond to the dynamic needs of our communities,” said NewBridge Chief Executive Officer Robert L. Parker. “The years ahead will bring continued partnerships and more opportunities to reach people in need.”
About NewBridge Services
Founded in 1963, NewBridge Services, Inc. is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) community organization providing innovative programs and education services in five focus areas: mental health, addiction, housing, youth programs and senior services. Whether guiding people as they cope with stress, grief, or substance abuse, or providing advice to those with parenting, relationship or caregiving challenges, NewBridge helps people bring balance to their lives.