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Featured Mini-Grantee | Haven Adolescent Community Respite Center

2024-06-04T11:34:39-04:00June 4th, 2024|

Haven Adolescent Community Respite Center leverages strong community partnerships to support adolescents and their families during times of domestic conflict. It provides counseling, positive opportunities for youth development, and peer support without stigma or assigning blame. Whenever possible, it seeks to work with the entire family in an effort to keep young people at home and safe.



HealthierJC + Haven Adolescent Community Respite Center

For Haven Adolescent Community Respite Center, building a Culture of Health means creating an environment that prioritizes and supports the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of young people. This involves a holistic approach that addresses not only healthcare but also the social, economic, and environmental factors that influence adolescent behavior and health. Overcoming conflict requires strength and resilience. To create resilience, the Adolescent Community Respite Center counsels the youth and the entire family to resolve conflict and seek community resources.

In awarding the mini-grant, HealthierJC acknowledged the ongoing contribution of Haven Adolescent Community Respite Center in advancing a Culture of Health for young people and families in crisis.

How was the Mini-Grant Used?

Thanks to the HealthierJC mini-grant, combined with funds from the Catholic Human Services Foundation, Haven Adolescent Community Respite Center hosted two events attended by 21 minority, low-income Jersey City residents in Wards B and F:

  • Haven Life Skills Program, held from July 18 to July 27, 2023
  • Back to School Smoothie Day on September 8, 2023

Haven Adolescent Community Respite Center held the Life Skills Program in collaboration with Jersey City PS 34 the Barack Obama School. Instructors in the Life Skills program moderated a discussion about developing behavioral skills to navigate adolescent challenges during the transition from childhood to adulthood. These skills impact personal development, as well as academic success, social relationships, and emotional well-being. Respite staff also moderated discussions about anxiety and self-image, violence in the media, social media personas, and how to stay safe online.

While many attendees were initially anxious and hesitant to speak, fidgets were distributed to help them relax and focus on the content being discussed. As they gradually became more comfortable with the setting, instructors, and peers over the nine-day program, these teens fully engaged in, contributed to, and clearly benefitted from the group discussions.

At the Back-to-School Smoothie event, Haven Adolescent Community Respite Center educated teens on the importance of nutrition and developing healthy eating habits. Because attendees wanted to learn more, this event was followed by an in-depth nutrition workshop conducted in collaboration with the West Bergen Branch of the Jersey City Public Library and the Community Food Bank of NJ.

Moving forward…

Haven Adolescent Community Respite Center plans to continue supporting young people in Jersey City who are adversely impacted by domestic conflict. It is committed to working wholistically with the nuclear family, extended family, and community resources to make a positive difference in the lives of maturing young men and women.

Haven Adolescent Community Respite Center is currently evaluating viable housing options to provide youth in crisis with short-term residential alternatives to incarceration or homelessness.

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