Center for Hope and Safety (formally Shelter Our Sisters) is the only private, non-profit agency dedicated to sheltering Bergen County's women and children who are victimized by domestic violence. Center for Hope and Safety provides a comprehensive umbrella of support services to help women and their dependents attain safety, build a strong foundation for healing, gain self-reliance and stop the cycle of violence.
24 Hour Hotline
The 24-hour emergency hotline is in operation 24 hours each day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Callers receive crisis intervention, counseling and referrals.
Emergency Shelter Program
This program offers safe and confidential housing 24/7, as well as basic needs for women and children as they escape violence. A variety of services are provided: therapeutic counseling, case management services, court and legal assistance, advocacy, community resource referrals, job and housing searches and Hispanic 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 for toddlers, after school programming for adolescents, tutoring, case management services to assist with schooling and referrals to community services, and social-recreational activities. In 2006, an art therapy program was added to help children who come to the shelter experiencing chaotic circumstances as they adjust to a new environment. 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.
Helping women achieve financial success is an important step toward bolstering their new independence. PSS is a job readiness-training program that assists women in gaining education. A Career Trainer helps women in areas such as: resume writing and interview techniques; basic academics and earning a high school or college diploma; and computer skills and personal financial management. The primary focus is education and support toward financial empowerment and economic independence.
This program offers low-cost housing to women (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 provide women the opportunity to function more independently as they pursue personal goals often focused on vocational, financial, legal and housing needs. The Transitional Housing Director and the Life Skills Trainer provide supports services in the areas of crisis intervention, legal advocacy, independent living skills, and community referral.
Staff continue to offer counseling, case management, legal advocacy, and community referrals to former residents. The program provides a trusting link to help families reintegrate into the community and maintain their independence.
A community-based program that strives to build Confidence, Hope, Independence, Love and Direction for child victims and/or witnesses of domestic violence. It is the only full service program in Bergen County providing intensive therapeutic treatment utilizing creative arts therapy, case management, transportation to and from the location; parent support groups; and financial assistance for child care and summer camps.
Outreach, Multicultural Services & AED
Bilingual counselors are available to provide advocacy and community referrals. An agency highlight was the new funding received by Women United in Philanthropy to open a temporary Outreach office and expand services to families in the community with a focus on women from different cultures. The Assistance to the Elderly and Disabled (AED) program offers services for elderly (60+) and disabled victims who are unable to live in the shelter. The program give elderly victims the comfort of services catered to their personal needs.
Emergent Legal Services for Victims of Domestic Violence
The legal program provides legal assistance to survivors of domestic violence in family law matters. We offer services ranging from advice and counsel to representation in court for hearings. We provide legal assistance in Restraining Order Hearings and issues related to domestic violence including custody, safe visitation, support and other related domestic violence family law matters.