Location: 12 Overlook Ave., Rochelle Park
Area served: Bergen County
Key members: Executive Director Julye Myner; Director of Programs S. Mira Vanjari; Director of Development Elizabeth Campbell; Director of Project CHILD Susan Bertolotti
Center for Hope and Safety is a not-for-profit agency founded in 1976. Originally known as Shelter Our Sisters, CHS is dedicated to assisting victims and survivors of domestic violence throughout Bergen County, and their children, by turning fear into safety, helplessness into strength and isolation into hope.
As the impacts of COVID-19 continue to threaten the health and safety of our community, the need for our programs and services is more critical than ever. Victims of domestic violence are depending on Center for Hope and Safety now more than ever before, and we remain absolutely committed to meeting their needs. It is our hope to continue to reach more victims and survivors of domestic violence that need help and support in the many diverse communities we serve, as well as to grow key programs and continue to increase community awareness about domestic violence and the resources Center for Hope and Safety offers.
Center for Hope and Safety is Bergen County’s only not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping adults and children rebuild their lives beyond domestic violence. Since 1976, CHS has been providing a safe haven and critical support services for domestic violence survivors and their children throughout Bergen County. Our mission is to assist adults and children who are victims of domestic violence, including emotional, economic, sexual and physical abuse.
We offer a full spectrum of free services designed to address and support emotional, physical and financial healing, including:
- A safe house that provides shelter to more than 200 women and children a year;
- A transitional housing program;
- Children’s programs for those who are witnesses or victims of domestic violence; An economic empowerment program, including career counseling, job development and housing services;
- Legal services program to provide free legal representation, advice and counsel;
- A free, confidential hotline that fields more than 6,150 calls a year and operates 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
We have never in our 45-year history served more people than we are helping today. Calls to our 24/7 free emergency hotline have increased nearly 50%. We’ve helped more than 1,190 adults and children find safety from their abuser. Our free legal services program has helped 242 victims and survivors of domestic in family law matters. Through our Project CHILD program, we have helped 52 children heal from domestic abuse. Additionally, we’ve bolstered our economic empowerment program to address the impact that the pandemic has had on women in the workforce through free career counseling and services.
Our ability to serve all in need with a robust array of services hinges on community support. The pandemic continues to restrain our ability to raise critical funds. Monetary donations are critical in our ability to continue to serve victims of domestic abuse and their children.
Funding comes from a diverse array of supporters, including individuals, family foundations, corporate foundations and corporations. However, most of our funding is from government grants, particularly from the New Jersey Department for Children and Families.
For immediate access to crisis intervention, counseling and referrals, including enrollment in the safe house, call 201-944-9600 or visit hopeandsafetynj.org. To help support CHS’ lifesaving mission with a donation, please visit: hopeandsafetynj.org/give-help/donate/.