Ocean's Harbor House
MISSION OF THE AGENCY
Ocean’s Harbor House is an agency dedicated to assisting homeless, runaway, abused, neglected and abandoned youth, and ages 10-21. Our mission is to provide a safe haven and caring environment for vulnerable youth to enable them to unlock their potential and learn skills that will empower them to build healthier lives, relationships and futures.
The agency fulfills its mission through the following goals:
- To create and support services that will help youth transition safely to adulthood and lead healthy and productive lives
- To alleviate the problems of runaway, homeless and abused youth
- To reunite youth with their families and encourage the resolution of intra-familial problems
- To strengthen family relationships by promoting stable living conditions for youth
- To identify resources in the community and develop placement options for youth that are homeless
- To develop services that embrace diversity and provide opportunities for youth to fully participate in the planning and implementation of programs which affect their lives, their families and their communities
- To be a voice for youth and families in need through community awareness, public education and advocacy activities
HISTORY OF THE AGENCY
Founded in June 1985 by a group of concerned citizens and community leaders, Harbor House was created to address the needs of children and youth in crisis. In August 1988, the agency opened its doors, providing a safe haven that helped our region’s children to come off the streets, and out of abusive and dangerous homes. Through planned strategic activities, the agency has witnessed significant growth over the years in direct response to the evolving needs of our county’s children and families.
Over the years, Harbor House has helped tens of thousands of children and their families. Further, our agency has utilized the skill and dedication of hundreds of staff and devoted community leaders, as well as countless volunteers – all driven to support our mission.
The agency’s continuum of care was borne out of the above mentioned emergency shelter, Harbor House. The shelter is the only one of its kind in Ocean and Monmouth Counties which is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to serve homeless, runaway and abused, neglected, and abandoned boys and girls, ages 10 though 19. In 2017, 111 teens were housed at the Emergency Youth Shelter. To date over 5,100 youth have utilized the emergency shelter.
In addition to providing emergency shelter placement, the shelter provides home-cooked meals, clothing, counseling, case management, recreation, transportation and medical services.
Further, the shelter operates a 24-hour hotline, with drop-in and case management services to help identify the most appropriate agency and/or community services that the youth or family needs. The shelter also hosts groups for youth to discuss specific challenges in their lives. Currently these groups include: Young Women's, Young Men's, Teen Rap, Teens Living Clean, Anger Management, and Life Skills/Self-Help Group.
As children and youth were admitted to and discharged from the shelter, many gaps in services were evident within the County. Harbor House has collaborated with other providers and created additional components to tackle the problem of youth homelessness and abuse more holistically.
Starting in 2001, Harbor House expanded its commitment to youth by responding to the special needs of older youth (ages 16-21) who lack the skills, resources or confidence to successfully achieve adulthood. The Supervised Transitional Living Program (TLP) was created because frequently these young adults had nowhere to turn. Because of their age, this population is often neglected from systems who serve children and those that assist adults. The TLP program, through a 12-bed group home and an outpatient component, provides transitional housing, counseling and supportive services.
The TLP Program allows homeless and aging out youth ages 16 to 21 to be residents for up to 18 months. Supportive services, including case management, counseling, employment and vocational services are provided at the program. In 2017, TLP provided transitional housing to 33 homeless and aging- out youth. To date, the TLP has served over 600 youth.
For families in crisis but not needing the intensity of a shelter stay, counseling services are provided through the Family Crisis Intervention Unit (FCIU).
In Janaury of 2018, Ocean’s Harbor House was awarded a contract from the Ocean County Youth Services Commission Department of Juvenile Services to electronically monitor juvenile offenders. The Electronic Monitoring (EM) Program serves any youth from Ocean County who has been deemed appropriate by a juvenile court judge or has met the criteria outlined in the Risk Screening Tool by an Ocean County Juvenile Intake Officer. These youth may range from ages 10-19.
Through this comprehensive offering of services; prevention and education, crisis intervention, emergency or transitional housing, Harbor House reaches over 500 children and young adults annually.
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Last Updated: 05/08/18