Resources for community empowerment, growth, and self-sufficiency in Essex County, New Jersey

Helping People Help Themselves

FOCUS will provide innovative quality services and programs employing state-of-the art technology for all constituencies.  We will strive to become financially independent as an agency and will collaborate with other organizations to strengthen existing synergies resulting in the best possible services for our clients. FOCUS will cultivate and nurture staff to ensure continued organizational growth and development.

 As a global concern about the current COVID-19 outbreak grows, we are doing our best to keep everyone healthy and safe.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 Graphic. (U.S. Air Force Graphic by Rosario “Charo” Gutierrez)



FOCUS Family Success Center

Families of our Family Success Center (FSC) have transitioned to telephone, email, Zoom and social media outlets.  The FOCUS FSC staff is following up with the families to provide information and social support as needed.  For more information please contact Program Director Ana Chavarria at 973-624-2528 Ext. 114 (P) or (E) and or Volunteer and Community Partnership Coordinator Cristina Gavilanes at 973-624-2528 Ext. 131 (P) or (E).


Food Pantry

NJ Food Bank and FOCUS are considered essential businesses under Governor Murphy’s Statewide Stay at Home Order. Food pantry is available on Wednesdays by appointment only from 9:00 a.m.  to 11:00 a.m.  For more information or to schedule an appointment please contact Family Partner Rosa Rosario at 973-624-2528 Ext. 112 (P) or  (E).


FOCUS Hispanic Seniors Program

The Hispanic Seniors employees continue to provide services to the most vulnerable clients, our senior citizens. Staff is delivering meals to the Home Delivered Meals clients, and to the seniors that came to our center daily that need to remain home.  Meals are delivered to close to 200 seniors at their homes. Phone calls are conducted, and fliers are distributed to each of the seniors to provide information on: the COVID-19, how to protect themselves, staying home, benefits and services available to them.  For more information please contact Program Coordinator Maria Manangao at 973-624-2528 Ext. 140 (P) or (E). 


Education Programs

All face to face English as a Second Language and Citizenship classes have transitioned to online learning. Students have access to Google Classroom and other online learning resources to assist in the development of the English literacy skills necessary to obtain and retain employment. The FOCUS extension program of Essex County College follows the Main Campus guidelines that all classes continue online. For more information please contact Education Specialist Ana Lissett Vera at 973-624-2528 Ext. 119 (P) or (E).


Adult Protective Services

During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, Adult Protective Services (APS) is following state orders by working remotely to service vulnerable adults that are defined as those 18+ who reside in a community setting, lack sufficient understanding or capacity to make/ or carryout decisions concerning their well-being due to mental or physical disabilities, and are subject to abuse, neglect or exploitation. Support services are being put in place to assist and intervene with those in need in Essex County. Visits are suspended now due to the COVID-19, but referrals can be made to the APS hotline for virtual monitoring by calling the hotline at 1-866-903-6287. For more information please contact Program Coordinator/ Case Management Supervisor Janel Bell at 973.624.2528 Ext. 134 (P) or (E).


Youth Development Program

The FOCUS Nita M. Lowey 21CCLC After-School Program at Cleveland Elementary School, Lincoln School, and Sussex Avenue School is working remotely and has launched #FocusGoesVirtual in an effort to continue servicing the students and families in our program. The virtual programming is using Google Classroom to actively engage in distance learning. It is our goal to serve as a resource and aide to help our scholars with their homework packets, as well as with fun yet educational activities that can be done while social distancing at home. For more information please contact Program Director Dorine Francis at 973.624.2528 Ext. 144 (P) or via (E).    


Provide community leadership by developing a variety of health and human development initiatives which advance the community toward self-sufficiency, growth, empowerment, and a better quality of life.