The covenant we make with the youth we serve...
Each year in the U.S. alone, as many as 2 million youth experience a period of homelessness, and every year more than 5,000 of these young people lose their lives to the streets. Their hope and promise are lost forever unless they find someone — like the staff and volunteers of Covenant House New Jersey — to love and care for them.
Our job is to protect the young people who come through our door, be a reflection of love to them and help them to change their lives.
Homeless kids have rights. They have the right to a home ... the right to food ... the right to guidance and an education … the right to be free from sexual, emotional, or physical abuse ... and the right to be free from exploitation. These kids have the right to be safe and – most importantly – to be loved.
Our Mission and Vision Are Governed by Five Basic Principles
Kids come to us in crisis. Immediately and without question, we meet their basic human needs — a nourishing meal, a shower, clean clothes, medical attention, and a safe place away from the danger of the street.
People can grow only when they feel safe and secure to do so. The kids who come to us are often frightened and mistrustful. We protect them from the perils of the street by giving them a place to be physically and emotionally safe.
Lying, cheating, and stealing are common survival tools on the street. We teach kids by example that caring relationships are based on trust, respect, and honesty.
Kids on the street never know how they will get their next meal or where they will sleep. We provide a regular schedule, rules and natural consequences that give them the stability they need in order to focus on the future.
Young people often feel powerless to control their lives, and fall into a self-defeating cycle of failure. We encourage kids to believe in themselves, to see their power as decision-makers and to make serious choices about their futures ... while helping them to see the short- and long-term impact of the choices they make.
Covenant House New Jersey Mission Statement:
We who recognize God's providence and fidelity to His people are dedicated to living out His covenant among ourselves and those children we serve, with absolute respect and unconditional love. That commitment calls us to serve suffering children of the street, and to protect and safeguard all children. Just as Christ in His humanity is the visible sign of God's presence among His people, so our efforts together in the covenant community are a visible sign that effects the presence of God, working through the Holy Spirit among ourselves and our kids.