Programs & Services
Center for Hope & Safety (formerly Shelter Our Sisters) is the only private, non-profit agency dedicated to sheltering Bergen County families and individuals who are affected by domestic violence. Center for Hope & Safety provides a comprehensive umbrella of support services to help adults and children attain safety, build a strong foundation for healing, gain self-reliance, and stop the cycle of violence.
24-Hour Hotline: (201) 944-9600
The emergency hotline is in operation 24-hours each day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Callers receive crisis intervention, counseling and referrals.
Safe House / Emergency Shelter Program
We offer safe and confidential housing 24/7, as well as basic needs for adults and children as they escape violence. A variety of services are provided: individual and group counseling; case management services; legal advocacy, advice, counsel and court representation; community resource referrals; job and housing searches; and Latinx outreach.
The Children’s Program is designed to stabilize a child’s environment and to counteract the effects of abuse by addressing the anxiety, depression, anger, aggression, self-esteem problems, and impaired social skill development that result from exposure to violence in the home. It includes preschool activities and therapeutic support for toddlers; after-school programming for school-aged children, tutoring from a certified teacher, and weekly homework groups; case management services to assist with school registration, day care, and transportation; referrals to community services; and social-recreational activities.
We offer an art therapy program to help children who come to the Safe House experiencing chaotic circumstances as they adjust to a new environment. Individual and group therapy sessions provide children the opportunity to express themselves in a non-judgmental, private setting, where the emphasis is placed on therapeutic experiences that are fun, teach appropriate behaviors, and build self-esteem.
Center for Hope & Safety’s Transitional Housing Program serves as an interim step toward self-sufficiency for survivors graduating from the Safe House. The program assists with providing safe, confidential, and affordable temporary housing to clients (and their children) who are ready to move forward from the shelter but could benefit from continued time and support to build their independent living skills.
Five transitional residences located throughout Bergen County offer the opportunity for survivors to develop independent living skills and pursue personal goals, often focused on vocational, financial, legal, and housing needs. The Transitional Housing team provides support to clients for up to 3 months and then refers them to Community Services, in which they receive assistance with case management, safety planning, and economic empowerment services. Clients also have access to Project CHILD and Legal Services for up to 2 years after graduation.
The Community Services team offers counseling, support groups, case management, risk assessment, safety planning, and direct assistance with finances, food, hygiene products, toiletries, diapers, and clothing to domestic violence victims and survivors residing in Bergen County. This includes former clients of Center for Hope & Safety’s residential services. The program provides a trusting link to help families reintegrate into the community and maintain their independence.
The program also offers Multicultural Services for Latinx and other minority/underserved victims of domestic violence in Bergen County. Priority issues facing this demographic include housing, medical insurance, mental health services, financial/economic issues, and immigration status.
Helping people achieve financial success is an important step toward bolstering their new independence. Our Economic Empowerment Program provides embedded career counseling, job development, and housing counseling services.
Career counseling services include ESL (English as a Second Language), HSE high school equivalency test, referrals to community-based vocational/occupational training and accreditation services, resume writing, computer skills, and interview techniques. Job development includes assistance with the job search, and acquisition and retention of employment. Housing counseling services include identification, acquisiton, and continuation of affordable permanent housing; budgeting and credit counseling; temporary assistance with utility/rent payments; and establishing relationships with realtors and landlords.
The primary focus is education and support toward financial empowerment and economic independence.
Since 2002, Project CHILD strives to build Confidence, Hope, Independence, Love, and Direction for children ages 4-12 who are victims and/or witnesses of domestic violence, addressing challenges such as anxiety, depression, anger, aggressive tendencies, and poor self-image. Project CHILD provides weekly individual and group therapeutic treatment utilizing creative arts therapy, as well as case management and therapeutic support for the child’s non-abusive parent throughout the duration of the family’s participation in the program.
Domestic Violence Liaison Program
The Domestic Violence (DV) Liaison Program provides expert consultations to the NJ Division of Child Protection & Permanency (DCPP) staff on managing cases where domestic violence is present. Center for Hope & Safety’s DV Liaisons provide direct and confidential services to DCPP clients, including information on domestic violence, resources, and safety planning, as well as advocating for clients within DCPP and other community systems as needed. DV Liaisons also conduct domestic violence trainings for protective services workers.
Center for Hope & Safety’s Legal Services is Bergen County’s only free in-house legal services program for victims of domestic violence. Services include Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs), Final Restraining Orders (FROs) and appeals, custody, visitation, and child support matters, spousal support, immigration, divorce and other related family law matters. Staff attorneys provide legal representation as well as advice and counsel to survivors in lieu of representation, when appropriate, to empower them to represent themselves and make decisions regarding legal issues.
Last updated March 16, 2023