Featured Charity - Covenant House New Jersey

Covenant House New Jersey (CHNJ) is the largest provider in the state of services to homeless and at-risk adolescents between the ages of 16 and 21. Last year, we served over 2,000 young people. Tonight alone, we will give 120 homeless adolescents and 19 babies in North and South Jersey a safe and caring place to sleep. Another dozen will walk through the doors of our Crisis Centers in Newark and Atlantic City for the first time, at all hours of the day and night, looking for a way off the street and someone to help them, to care for them. We will help over most of them to stabilize their crises and leave the streets.

Thanks to the kindness and genersoity of friends like Parents Who Rock,we are able to further our mission to get homeless and as-risk youth off the streets and on the path to a better life. We hope you will continue to keep our kids here at Covenant House in mind for future benefits.

If you are interested in making a donation to help Open Doors for Homeless Youth, please contact Jennifer Tunnicliffe, Development Director, at 973-286-3410 or via email at jtunnicliffe@covenanthouse.org. For more information about how you can help go to www.covenanthousenj.org.

Our kids come in many shapes and sizes, each with their own story. Many are running from abuse, violence or gangs. Some were kicked out of their homes with their infants because no one wanted a baby in the house. Far too many aged out of foster care and showed up on our doorstep on the eighteenth birthdays. Others simply do not have any place to be and no other connections to adults who can help them.

As we trace their journey to our front door, we almost always find a dysfunctional family at the root of their crises. Although there is no standard profile of the Covenant House kid, most, if not all, face a combination of many risk factors, including a history of childhood neglect, sexual and physical abuse, mental illness, poor physical health, poverty, drug use, low educational achievement, involvement in street activity, and prostitution.

Our work has shown us the many factors that contribute to a young person’s homelessness. Therefore, we offer shelter that is enriched with a comprehensive array of supportive services that help our young people to not only stabilize their crises, but to also transition to a stable living environment where they can continue to progress in their life’s goals.

To accomplish this, we have a team of Outreach staff on the streets each night finding and connecting with homeless young people. We then provide them with a Service Manager who helps them to develop and implement a plan for their future, as well as link them with our doctor, nurse practitioner, lawyers, addictions specialists, pastor, and career and educational counselors. These caring and competent professionals help our kids to address the many health concerns they bring to the door, after years of medical neglect. They help them to stop using drugs, manage their mental illnesses, and resolve their legal issues. They work with them to get jobs, go back to school, learn independent living skills and move into their own apartments.

Most importantly, they love our kids unconditionally, perhaps for the first time in their lives.

Jennifer Tunnicliffe
Development Director
Covenant House New Jersey

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