March 13, 2020

Covenant House New Jersey Will Remain Open Caring for Youth

We are all consumed with the virus and how we can make ourselves and our loved ones safe.  We should be consumed, that’s what love calls for, “make it safe, safe as possible”.  All of us here at Covenant House are constantly focusing on making it safe, we call it Sanctuary.

When our young people come in off the street, the most important thing we can give them is a sanctuary, a safe place from the street scene and a place not filled with fear and anxiety about the future.   We call that hope.  We have learned from our young people the streets are not safe and you live in constant fear.  Fear of being hurt, fear of taken advantage and full of anxiety on how you are going to survive the day.  That is why our top priority is creating a safe place.  We have to be safe for our Covenant Community, our kids, our staff, our volunteers and donors.

As it is for so many, the Coronavirus has created some real challenges.  We can not send kids home, Covenant House New Jersey is their home.  (We currently have all our crisis beds filled.)  We can’t tell staff to work from home as our kids need constant care and service.  So we will do what we always do here at CHNJ.  We put our kids first.  We get really smart about what we can do and then do everything we can to make it safe for our kids and our community.

We have been communicating and developing health plans and crisis plans with the smartest people in the health sector as well as other providers and will take every precaution to keep our Covenant House Community safe.  I know it is going to affect our income but I have decided to postpone, cancel or hold remotely all fundraising events for the next month and suspend all-volunteer engagements.  That hurts as our volunteers play an important role in serving our young people. Our team will be notifying you shortly on how each upcoming event will be impacted.

We will clean and wash with as much disinfectant as we can find.  And we will pray.  Pray for our kids who are with us, and those who have yet to find us, and a special prayer for you and all those working to make it safe for those we love.


Jim White, Executive Director