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At SERV we share our experience, support and guidance with children, adults and families as they work to recover from and cope with mental illness, addictions, challenging behaviors, and developmental disabilities.

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SERV Foundation Fundraisers

Cash Raffle Winners Announced

On November 16, there were three winners in the SERV Foundation Scholarship Fund Cash Raffle drawing. The winners received 25%, 15% and 10% of the total raised, which was $9,430.

They were:

1st prize – Frank Hauch, of Manville, NJ, $2,357.50 (25%)

2nd prize – Ida Doolan, of Pennington, NJ, $1,414.50 (15%)

3rd prize – Ivan Punchatz, of Yardley, PA, $943 (10%)

Thank you to all who supported this fundraiser, which benefits SERV consumers wishing to pursue their educational goals.

The SERV Foundation


  • 2010

    2010: Gary van Nostrand, SERV President/CEO, receives the 2010 Champion Award from Behavioral Healthcare magazine.

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  • 2007

    2007: The New Jersey Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association presents SERV with the Wellness and Recovery Transformation Award.

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  • 2006

    2006: SERV receives the 2006 Outstanding Provider of the Year award from the New Jersey Association of Mental Health Agencies.

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Consumer Success Stories

  • Pang-Yen

    SERV Foundation Scholarship Fund recipient graduates with B.A. from Rutgers

    College students are likely to face many challenges on their journey to achieving an academic degree.  But, for a student who also struggles with mental illness, these challenges are multiplied and often seem insurmountable. One such student is Pang-Yen "Ben" H., a consumer with SERV Centers of New Jersey Central Region for nearly seven years.  After 17 years of attempting a higher education and being sidelined by his illness of schizophrenia, Ben earned a bachelor's degree at the age of 34 from Rutgers University in Read More
  • Pearl Hadley, center, a family care provider with SERV Centers of New Jersey-Hudson County, is flanked by two of the three SERV consumers who live in her home in Jersey City – Elsie, left, and Rosa.

    Family Care Provider opens her home to recovering women

    “Eighteen years have come and gone since mama passed away …But, now I’m with Ms. Hadley. What a wonderful lady – no more rags, (I have) nice suits, dresses and pants. I get to travel and have cookouts and go to church with her. She cooks, I clean, but get compensated for it. No more depression or laziness.” — Excerpt from “The Hadley Residence,” a composition from “Reflections” by Elsie W., a consumer with SERV Centers Hudson County In her tidy home on a one-way street in Read More
  • Bernard J

    Former chauffer is back in the driver’s seat

    As an executive chauffer for many years, Bernard J. traveled many roads. However, for this 59-year-old man who battled Paranoid Schizophrenia, it was the road to recovery that perhaps was the most difficult to navigate. The “friendly” voices in Bernard’s head would give him directions to destinations in northern New Jersey and New York where his employer needed to go, and at times he’d have to whisper to them, “I have this. I know where I’m going.” Another trio of voices would tell him to Read More
  • Harry, a consumer with SERV Centers Passaic County for 20 years, sits in the back yard of his apartment building on a recent day in autumn.

    When Harry met SERV

    Ask Harry T., a sports enthusiast and an avid Mets fan, if he is following the 2009 World Series games on television during this first week in November, and he answers, “Nah, I don’t like the Yankees.” But, if there is a Giants or Jets football game, a Nets or Knicks basketball game, or a Devils or Rangers hockey game any time on television, Harry is usually parked in front of his television set in his two-bedroom apartment operated by SERV Centers Passaic County. Harry, Read More
  • Jen, left, and Sue are residents of Bloom House, a 150-year-old farmhouse in Middlesex County that is home to five SERV women recovering from severe and persistent mental illness. This high-independence program is the first of its kind for SERV Centers of New Jersey.

    SERV consumers flourish at Bloom House

    For 150 years, the large country kitchen of this farmhouse in Middlesex County has been an inviting place for several generations of the Bloom family to welcome guests as they enter through the rear door. The warmth of this room is no different today, as three of Bloom House’s five residents greet a visitor on a recent autumn morning. Jen, Sue and Tresea graciously offer their guest a cup of coffee and sit down at the long table where they have enjoyed many conversations during Read More
  • Christian displays his crayon-and-pencil drawing, “My Neighborhood,” which was selected for an exhibit at the Arts Unbound museum in Orange for artists with disabilities. His artwork is a depiction of the SERV Achievement group home where he lives in East Windsor.

    SERV consumer’s artwork displayed at museum for people with disabilities

    Christian R. views his neighborhood as one with colorful houses surrounded by neatly trimmed green lawns nourished by bright sun rays. Therefore, when the 18-year-old consumer with SERV Achievement Centers was asked by his teacher at The Academy Learning Center in Monroe Township to draw “My Neighborhood,” that is how Christian accurately depicted the SERV group home where he lives in East Windsor, N.J. Rachel Stern, the teacher at the school for students with autism or autistic-like behavior, saw something special in Christian’s crayon-and-pencil artwork Read More
  • Ronald Pitak sits in a room he painted at SERV Centers Passaic County where he is a consumer and a part-time maintenance worker. He also is the inventor of The Pitak helmet for firefighters, miners and rescue workers.

    Consumer invents life-saving helmet

    He can cite the countless jobs, positions and hobbies he says he has experienced in his 61 years: an Army paratrooper in Vietnam, a softball and baseball umpire, a scuba diver, a lifeguard, a horticulturist, a hunter. And now, because of the few years he spent as a firefighter in West Paterson, Ronald Pitak can add one more to his “Jack-of-all-trades” list – inventor. Ronald, a consumer with SERV Centers Passaic County, is the brains behind The Pitak, a helmet designed for firefighters or miners that Read More
  • Wayne L., a consumer with SERV for two years, is attending barber school, while also giving haircuts to fellow consumers at Serenity House and the Leonard building.

    SERV consumer has shear talent for barbering

    A shave and a haircut costs much more than the two bits (25 cents) required in the old days, but Wayne L. offers a relatively better bargain in 2009. A resident at SERV’s transitional Serenity House in Mercer County for men recovering from mental illness and substance abuse, Wayne is honing his barbering skills on fellow consumers at the group home for a mere $5, while also working toward his license. Before Wayne started classes at the Tri-State Barber School in Philadelphia more than a Read More
  • Greg stands outside a group home in Middlesex County, where he is working on painting the dining room. He is the first SERV consumer to be hired as a permanent part-time employee with SERV’s maintenance department.

    Consumer becomes first part-time employee with SERV’s maintenance department

    Dressed in his navy blue Yankees hooded sweatshirt and jeans, Greg H. is not too concerned about getting drops of pink ceiling paint on them. In fact, he remains free of any splatters as he dips the long-handled roller into the pink paint and applies it to the ceiling of the dining room at SERV’s group home in Middlesex County. He explains that while the paint looks pink in the bucket while wet, it will turn white as it dries on the ceiling. This makes Read More
  • Helena hugs her daughter MaryAnna during the baby’ christening in early March.

    Supporting mom and baby is a first for SERV

    “Good morning, SERV Behavioral Health System. This is Helena. May I help you?” The cheery greeting comes through loud and clear over the phone as Helena P. readies to direct the incoming call to the Progressive Achievement Center in Ewing, N.J. As SERV Achievement Center’s part-time receptionist for the Progressive Achievement Center (PAC), Helena, 26, keeps post and greets visitors at the nonprofit organization that has employed her since last December for two 5-hour days a week.   Her familiarity with the Center is apparent Read More
  • Shanna-Rae shares her poetry at a SERV Recovery NJ Conference.

    Recovery is sheer poetry

    Shanna-Rae M. loves to write poetry. “Give me a subject and five minutes and I could come up with one,” says Shanna-Rae, 47, a consumer with SERV Centers Passaic County.   In fact, her thoughts flow like a river current when she is writing about SERV and recovery or penning a tribute to SERV-Passaic Director Kim DeRosa “to make her feel special.” There is hope and encouragement In every word you speak You have become A champion for the weak Shanna-Rae, who has had over 30 Read More
  • Tim ‘reframes’ his life with SERV

    “I gave myself a chance when I came to SERV, because I was out of options.” That leap of faith is how Timothy M., a consumer with SERV Centers Hudson County, describes his journey from the despair of mental illness, addiction and homelessness to his current state of psychiatric stability, imminent independent apartment living in SERV’s Supportive Housing Program, and nearing the completion of his master’s degree in English literature. “I went from chaos to stability,” Tim says of his life after joining SERV Behavioral Read More
  • Chuck E. of Union County

    SERV consumer nurtures his mind, body and spirit

    Chuck E. of Union County (NJ) is modest when speaking of his phenomenal success toward wellness and recovery from bipolar disorder. “Yes, I have had successes,” the 25-year-old says, but adds that he will not feel truly accomplished until he is living on his own, has a job and is a contributing member of society. Chuck already is well on his way toward those goals due to his steadfast determination, the support of SERV Behavioral Health System, and SERV’s staff members who have worked with Read More
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Annual Report

Annual Report 2014

SERV Art Calendar


SERV's 2016 Art Calendar features the top 10 winning entries from consumers with SERV Centers of NJ and SERV Achievement Centers. The calendar is produced by the SERV Foundation as an end-of-year fundraising effort. To receive a calendar in the mail, click here.