background shadows

For Immediate Release  Contact: Ernest Landante, Jr.
May 29, 2014 609-292-0422

TRENTON - New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF) Commissioner Allison Blake today toured Somerset Home for Temporarily Displaced Children and met with homeless youth receiving support services at the Bridgewater-based organization. The state has allocated $900,000 in federal SSBG funds to expand street outreach services to homeless youth in order to connect them with the services they need.

"Homeless youth are particularly vulnerable, so it is vital to have street outreach programs that engage homeless youth and link them with safe housing. Implementing these programs is essential to preventing these young adults from falling prey to exploitation and other dangerous environments," said Commissioner Blake. "Thanks to assistance being provided from organizations like the Somerset Home for Temporarily Displaced Children, we can help these youth make safe choices and lead them toward a more successful life."

The Somerset Home for Temporarily Displaced Children provides services such as crisis intervention, street outreach for homeless youths, transitional living programs and independent-living skills education to abused, neglected or homeless teens. Street Smart, the organization's street outreach program,  focuses on adolescents and young adults between the ages of 13-21 who are living on the street or in other unsafe environments and are at-risk of sexual abuse and or exploitation.

"The expansion of our Street Smart street outreach program has made a tremendous impact for many youth," said David Walker, executive director of Somerset Home. "Through DCF's support, at the beginning of the year we had two locations in Somerset and Essex counties; we now have another with the addition of our Bergen county office. Street Smart is working to help prevent youth from going down negative paths and providing them with opportunities for a hopeful future. I could not be more excited about the impact this program is having on our youth and in our communities."

DCF is dedicated to ensuring a better today and an even greater tomorrow for every individual the department serves. In partnership with New Jersey's communities, DCF ensures the safety, well-being, and success of New Jersey's children and families. DCF funds and directly provides services and support to over 100,000 women, children, and families each month.

Top ^