December 12, 2023

Year-End Donation is Needed

Your year-end donation to support youth facing homelessness at Covenant House New Jersey is needed more than ever. Julia Einbond has been Executive Director at CHNJ since July 1st. (Executive Director titles across Covenant House are now transitioning from Executive Director to CEO.) Here is her first holiday message to the CHNJ community on why your support is needed. Your support is also more valuable than ever, since we have a 3x matching gift program running for online gifts through December 31st!

A Message from Julia Einbond

“I’m loving the job so far. I love the work that I do. And I’m more financially stable now.”

I’ve been the new CEO here at Covenant House New Jersey for six months and I’m loving the job so far, but that quote isn’t mine. 

It’s from a letter received from one of our recent alumni, Cara. The letter started, “I just wanted to give you an update on what life has been like for me lately.” This alum graduated from a health professional school, got her own apartment, and started her first job. She is bright, compassionate, and hard-working, and I know she is going to help a lot of people in her new role as a healthcare professional. She always stayed in touch through college.

Julia Einbond, Executive Director (CEO)

As a healthcare professional, she is assisting people with medical needs who are now homeless. She closed her letter with “That’s all I have to share for now. Hope to hear from you soon!”

What I wish for our young people this holiday season is that, like Cara, their story isn’t done. Cara has succeeded by every marker of success we measure at CHNJ, but that’s not the point. After leaving our onsite programs only three years ago, she is already looking back and seeing success, she is reflecting on herself in the present moment and feeling love and joy, and she is dreaming big for the future. Best of all for us, she is thinking about whom she can share her successes with, and it’s the same people who were there for her when she was experiencing trauma and hopelessness: her Covenant House Family.

During my first six months in this role, I’ve had the opportunity to visit each of our eight programs throughout our state. It has been an honor to listen to our hard-working staff. I’ve spent countless hours listening to the stories our courageous young people share. I’ve seen the success stories our donors make possible. 

Sadly, there is still so much work to do. Some of our young people aren’t as lucky as Cara. Today our shelter programs are full, with waiting lists while we try to make space by moving residents to affordable housing in their communities. It can take weeks and months to find one apartment for one young person who has all the funds they need to obtain and maintain housing. You see, hard work isn’t enough for our young people facing low housing stock and discrimination. Our staff is working around the clock to remove roadblocks and create better outcomes for our young people and our communities, but we can’t do it alone.

That’s why I am writing today to ask you to consider making a year-end donation to our life changing work.   

At Covenant House, we know how special it is to be home for the holidays, especially for young people. After all, no place feels quite like home does. For most of us, this time of year is spent in our own home, or maybe in the homes of loved ones. Places that are familiar, warm, and hold a special place in our hearts. That’s why Cara will hear from us soon when we invite her to our home for one of our annual holiday dinners.

A holiday party in a prior year

We have learned here at Covenant House that our young people have all they need inside of them to succeed. Their stories are often tragic, but in our compassion and kindness, we give them space and we listen. Our job, our joy, is to give them the opportunities they need to live a stable and productive life.

Your contribution significantly helps us bring that hope and joy to our young people. My holiday wish is that you know how important your contribution is to our youth and the opportunities we can offer them. We will serve over 1000 young people who will come through our doors this year. This work cannot happen without your help.

The world needs more stories like Cara’s. We can make that possible with Covenant House’s model of care and with your help.

With gratitude for your support,

Julia Einbond, Executive Director

Please consider a year-end donation to support youth facing homelessness by clicking here. We have a 3x matching gift program running for online gifts through December 31st!