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Nonprofit to turn abandoned Paterson library into community resource center

An abandoned library in Paterson will soon be getting a new life in an effort to help the community.

News 12 Staff

Nov 22, 2022, 3:52 AM

Updated 609 days ago

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An abandoned library in Paterson will soon be getting a new life in an effort to help the community.
Most people see broken windows and floors, crumbling stairs and a destroyed ceiling. But Andre Akbar McEntyre says he sees so much more at the old Northside Library.
“We are looking to bring an upper deck mezzanine and make it a three-floor institution,” Akbar McEntyre says.
Akbar McEntyre’s nonprofit outreach program Humble Beginnings was able to purchase the old library from the city after years of negotiations.
The building has been abandoned since it was damaged in a flood from Hurricane Irene in 2011. The old library – and the First Ward neighborhood it resides in – have both fallen on hard times.
“This building has become, not only an eyesore, and now a crime magnet with illicit activity taking place right outside this building because it’s abandoned,” says Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh.
“This is a blighted community. It's a blighted building. It's been sitting here for so many years - over a decade - with no vision,” Akbar McEntyre says.
Humble Beginnings plans to turn the building into a community resource center. It will help bring much-needed services to the underserved neighborhood. This includes mental health, substance abuse and family counseling, job training and placement and prison re-entry programs.
“A community family resource center for multiple needs…I think it will be the center of hope for a community that is in a dark spot right now,” Akbar McEntyre says.
The group has already started cleaning up the property outside. Construction inside won’t start until the spring.
Humble Beginnings serves all of Paterson by providing meals for families - and resources for anyone battling substance abuse and mental health issues. More information can be found on the group’s website.


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