Funds will support the agency’s 24-hour Emergency Shelter for victims of domestic violence
The Provident Bank Foundation (PBF) has ensured that those who suffer from the trauma of violence in their homes will continue to have a safe, secure place to seek shelter in Bergen County, New Jersey.
Center for Hope & Safety, Inc. (CHS), the county’s only full-service, non-profit domestic violence (DV) agency, has received a generous $20,000 grant from PBF for its Safe House emergency shelter, which last year gave refuge to more than 220 victims of DV.
The grant will subsidize operations at the 24-hour, 39-bed, confidentially located emergency shelter, as well as the programs and services offered to victims and their children during their stay, said CHS’ Executive Director, Julye Myner.
“The onslaught of reported cases of DV in the wake of the pandemic is unprecedented, which makes the support of community partners like The Provident Bank Foundation more critical than ever,” said Myner. “Our Safe House is operating at 200-percent capacity for the first time in ten years. We are extremely grateful for this grant, which will ensure that our doors remain open to people suffering from DV in Bergen County.”
“Center for Hope & Safety provides invaluable services rooted in compassion and empowerment to members of the Bergen County community who suffer from domestic violence,” said Samantha Plotino, Executive Director, The Provident Bank Foundation. “The Foundation is proud to continue its partnership with CHS so survivors can reclaim their personal safety and live a life free of violence.”
The COVID19 pandemic notwithstanding, Myner said the incidence of DV is more prevalent in Bergen County than most people realize. The most recent Uniform Crime Reporting of the New Jersey State Police indicates that in 2019 there were 59,645 reported domestic violence incidents, with Bergen County reporting 3,410 incidents – exceeding NJ’s county-wide average of 2,840 annual reported incidents.
CHS sheltered a total of 222 adults and children in 2021, including 106 women, 111 children, and, for the first time in the agency’s history, 5 men, for an average length of stay of 67 days. Adults ranged in age from 18 to 60 years and most of the children, at 44-percent, were under the age of four. Clients were sheltered in CHS’ Safe House and in local hotels accommodate overflow and to properly observe COVID 19 safety measures and protocols recommended by the CDC.
In total, CHS served nearly 1,300 families and individuals in 2021 through a wide array of programs and services including its Community Services, Legal Services and Transitional Housing Programs. Calls to the agency’s 24/7/365 emergency hotline increased by 25% to more than 7,500 as a result of victims being trapped at home with abusers during pandemic lockdowns.
About Center for Hope & Safety
Center for Hope & Safety is Bergen County’s only not-for-profit agency dedicated to helping adults and children rebuild their lives beyond domestic violence. Since 1976, Center for Hope & Safety 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 legal services program to provide free legal representation, advice and counsel on restraining orders, appeals and emergent custody, visitation, child support, spousal support and other domestic violence family law matters. Our free, confidential hotline answers more than 4,200 calls a year and operates 7 days a week, 365 days a year. For immediate access to crisis intervention, counseling and referrals including enrollment in our safe house call (201) 944-9600 or visit: https://www.hopeandsafetynj.org/.