project leader
Amy A
53 Duncan Avenue
New Jersey (Journal Square, Jersey City, NJ)
latest update rss
Thank you to our donors!

the project

We, a team of parents, social workers, public safety professionals, educators, and public defenders are working to design and create the first adolescent respite center here in Jersey City. In this first stage, we will conduct a broad ranging outreach effort to churches, temples, mosques, non-profit service and civic organizations and to a range of city and state youth and public safety organizations. This will create a solid foundation and a broad community network for the young people served by Haven. We will conduct hundreds of meetings throughout Jersey City and the adjoining communities to introduce the idea of a community respite center for youth and to identify potential community advisory board members and service partners. The community advisory board will provide guidance in addressing the needs of a diverse group of teenagers, refer families in need of services and help us to identify long term resources which will diminish the number of future crises for adolescents and their families.​

the steps

This fundraising campaign is a modest one designed to fund our outreach step. We plan to open Haven in 2017. We have a lot of work to do to establish our place in Jersey City and build a strong community core before then. This campaign will help us complete the outreach phase of this project by funding research, planning, establishment of non-profit status, and creation of promotional materials and web presence required to communicate with the many parties with whom we will need to cooperate once Haven is operational.


why we're doing it

As parents, EMTs, service and legal service providers, we have seen far too many young people arrested, hospitalized or rendered homeless as the result of family conflict. The young people we intend to serve do not have major psychiatric diagnoses and aren’t helped by time spent in jail. There are far too few homeless shelter beds for young people – last year Covenant House in Manhattan turned 4,000 adolescents away from its shelter. The young people we meet are facing a range of challenges including return from criminal or juvenile justice involvement, teen parenting and pregnancy, tensions relating to immigration, family violence, living with parents or family members who are mentally ill or drug addicted, and homophobia. Many of these issues are best addressed by identifying alternative adult supports and activities that will ease tensions. They are also often best addressed by giving everyone – young people and their families – some time to cool down and rethink what is happening. We think Haven will provide all of those resources.




So excited to have our idea out there! Here we are, day 1!


Disbursement Budget (as of 9.16.16):


RAISED = $4,026.00
less ioby Platform Fee  $35.00
less ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $184.77
less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $110.86

Updated Budget:

One page concept paper development and printing: 250.00

Tax Exempt Status (fees and services): 1000.00

Business Cards for Haven Board Members: 100.00

Website (development and hosting): 350.00

Dedicated Haven Computer:  500.00

Community Advisory Board Initial Retreat (day): 1000.00

SUBTOTAL = 3,500
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $175
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $105


Original Budget:

One page concept paper development and printing: 250.00

Tax Exempt Status (fees and services): 1000.00

Business Cards for Haven Board Members: 100.00

Website (development and hosting): 350.00

Dedicated Haven Computer:  500.00

Development of Standard Operating Procedures with Police and EMS: 2500.00

Community Advisory Board Initial Retreat (day): 1000.00

Travel Expenses: 300.00

SUBTOTAL = 6,000
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $300
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $180




Thank you to our donors!

Peace Be Still - An alternative to violence basketball league

Here are some photos from our awesome, Peace Be Still, event held last weekend and hosted by our Community Advisory Board Member Dwayne Baskerville. Thank you so Dwayne Baskerville, and all who came out to make this such a successful event. 

We have a new Executive Board Member!

Welcome to our newest board member! 

Dr. Vaibhavee R. Agaskar, PhD, NCC

Assistant Professor of Counselor Education and CACREP Liaison/Clinical Coordinator of Clinical Mental Health Program, New Jersey City University

Dr. Vaibhavee R. Agaskar is a counselor educator with more than 14 years of experience in the mental health field in the United States and India. 

Since 2013, Dr. Agaskar has served as an assistant professor of counselor education and clinical coordinator for mental health counseling at NJCU where she teaches, mentors, and advises graduate students in school counseling and mental health counseling. She has served as NJCU’s CACREP liaison since 2015.

Dr. Agaskar has also taught at College of Staten Island, Kean University, and Long Island University and as a program coordinator at Oakland University, supervised mental health and school counseling graduate students during their practicums and internships.

In the United States, Dr. Agaskar served as a mental health therapist at Vista Maria in Detroit. Her experience in Mumbai, India has included service as a child counselor in family court, a research assistant and facilitator for the Times Foundation, and a clinical psychologist and outreach coordinator for The Child and Adolescent Guidance Centre of Tata Institute of Social Sciences.  She has been a presenter at regional, national, and international conferences, including, most recently on “The Use of DSM -5: Assessment Tools for Counselors” at the 3rd International Conference on Counseling, Psychotherapy, and Wellness in Bangalore, India last January.

Dr. Agaskar is one of three co-authors of “School Based Counseling in India,” a chapter currently under review that will be published in the International Handbook for Policy Research on School-Based Counseling. Her peer-reviewed journal articles have been published in Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice and the Journal of Clinical Psychology. 

Dr. Vaibhavee R. Agaskar holds a Ph.D. in counselor education from Oakland University where she specialized in child and adolescent mental health and quantitative research methods, and a master of arts in clinical psychology and a bachelor of arts in psychology from University of Mumbai, India.  She has been a member of the American Counseling Association since 2005.



Our story on ioby's blog!

by ioby
July 21, 2016

Amy Albert grew up in a homogenous, conservative Boston suburb; the neighborhood was predominantly white, predominantly Christian. Her own family was different: they were Jewish, to start, and her mother was a lesbian, her father gay. Albert learned early on what it feels like to exist in the margins. That experience has deeply informed her career in social and racial justice – she represents youth in Brooklyn’s courts and supreme courts – and it’s guiding her today, as she lays the foundation for Jersey City’s Haven Adolescent Community Respite Center, slated to open its doors in 2017. Haven – which will keep young men out of jail by welcoming them into a new kind of community, instead – is a new kind of solution, and it is desperately needed.   Read the full story here...


Morrease Leftwich joins the Community Advisory Board!

Dear all:

We are pleased to announce that Morrease, a young man who grew up in Jersey City, has agreed to join our community advisory board.  Advisory Board Members commit to raising or donating 5,000 to the organization and to providing their understanding, expertise and skills to Haven's youth and families.  If you want to join the Community Advisory Board, contact Amy at  A bio of Morrease is below.  Photo to follow shortly!


Morrease is a Jersey City resident who studies at Temple University. Growing up in primarily Jersey City but also Philadelphia, Morrease knows the urban environment well and has grown up with plenty of people who would have benefitted from Haven had it been established earlier, he will add this important perspective to Haven’s advisory board. With this in mind, he is very passionate about aiding young people going down perverse paths before law enforcement gets involved since he recognizes that our criminal justice system tends to cause a positive feedback loop rather than corrected behavior. Morrease serves as a mentor at Big Brothers Big Sisters in Philadelphia and will use his position on Haven’s advisory board in order to help discover truly effective methods of resolving the way we deal with our youth.



This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Anonymous
  • Rita and Harry
  • Alexandra Lopez
  • Kristy H.
  • Jen H.
  • Jordan Hay
  • Carmen
  • Reverend Teal
  • Sharon C.
  • DIANE Boettcher
  • Zareen Poonen Levien
  • Tim And Angela
  • Kevin
  • Anonymous
  • Kimberly Isaly
  • Justin Garrett Moore
  • Ransom R.
  • Julie Barnes/Same Boat Consulting
  • Rob Earle
  • Karen and Wayne Barnes
  • Johanna & Noah Paster
  • The Richland Family
  • The Corkery Family
  • Leah A.
  • Jennifer A.
  • Sandy Thompson
  • Linda Blair
  • Maura Albert