Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton, has several programs in Ocean County that provide assistance to individuals, children and families, support for victims of domestic violence, help to those impacted by natural disasters and to those with mental illness and substance abuse.
Food drives help us keep our pantry shelves stocked and are a mainstay of our outreach efforts. We also conduct themed drives that meet clients’ other needs.
IMMIGRATION SUPPORT – Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)-accredited case managers provide civil legal assistance that is recognized by the Department of Homeland Security. Services are available in both English and Spanish. All services are located at:
- Immigration Legal Assistance Services — Assists consumers with the completion of immigration petitions and the translation of documents. Provides immigration information and referral.
- English as a Second Language (ESL) Classes — In collaboration with St. Francis Community Center, these classes help non-English speaking immigrants with English language skills.
- Educational/Enrichment Services — In partnership with other county and communities agencies, consumers of Ocean County can take part educational services, which can include parenting or GED classes.
- Immigration Services — Helps immigrants adapt to American customs and life styles. Certified case managers provide civil legal assistance that is recognized by the Department of Homeland Security.
PROVIDENCE HOUSE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES — Domestic violence services are provided through Providence House, offering confidential 24-hour hotline services, counseling, education, specialized children’s programs, legal advocacy and a Safe House at no cost to victims and their children. Our Outreach Counseling Center address is listed below. Our Safe House location is kept confidential. Learn more about domestic violence and Providence House.
24-Hour Hotline: 732-244-8259
Toll Free: 1-800-246-8910
Outreach Office: 732-350-2120
- 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline — For individuals and their children in need of crisis counseling and/or a safe haven from abuse, as well as information, appointments and referrals.
- Children’s Counseling — Uses various forms of art and play to help children express their feelings and heal from the abuse in their homes. Available at Emergency Safe House only.
- Community Education — Encourages prevention and promotes awareness of the forms of domestic abuse through presentations at health fairs, businesses, schools, community events and organizations.
- Domestic Abuse Support Groups — Provides multi-week educational sessions on the dynamics of abuse, including healthy relationships and boundaries.
- Domestic Violence Liaison Program — Provides on-site case consultation, support and advocacy at area Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P) offices for non-offending parents who are victims of domestic violence.
- Domestic Violence Response Team — Provides training, supervision, and guidance to teams of community volunteers who speak to victims immediately following a domestic violence incident at the local police station or hospital.
- Emergency Safe House — Confidentially located emergency safe house that enables victims and their children to escape danger and to begin the healing process.
- Individual Counseling — Offers intensive individual counseling including support, options, education, and therapeutic intervention. By appointment only.
- Legal Advocacy Program — Offers court accompaniment and support to victims, as well as advocacy and referrals.
- PALS (Peace: A Learned Solution) — Helps children ages 3-12 who have been exposed to domestic abuse to heal through various forms of creative arts.
- Project REACH — Recognizes the unique obstacles faced by older victims of domestic violence such as long time spouse abuse or abuse by adult children.
- Project Self-Sufficiency — Helps victims to acquire and maintain permanent violence-free housing and provides education and training on job readiness and community resources.
New Jersey’s cost of living is the third highest in the nation so it is not surprising that we assist more people through these services than any other within the organization. The percentage of working families in Ocean County seeking assistance with food has increased dramatically. Believing that everyone deserves a chance to achieve self-sufficiency, our programs are designed to support immediate basic needs while providing opportunities for developing financial literacy, marketable job skills and help in obtaining permanent, affordable housing.
Unless otherwise noted, all services are provided to Ocean County residents through Community Services at:
FOOD PANTRY — Provides each resident or family with a three-day supply of food per household member. Available to each resident or family once per month.
Due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic food pantries in Burlington, Lakewood, and Trenton continue serving people in need, but staff are distributing pre-packed bags at the door. Also our food pantries have modified operating hours:
- Mercer Community Services Food Pantry (located at Mount Carmel Guild)
73 North Clinton Avenue Trenton, NJ 08609
Mondays through Fridays 9:30am to 11:30am
- Burlington Community Services Food Pantry
450-460 Veterans Drive Burlington NJ 08016
Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays 9:30am to 11:30am AND 1:30pm to 3:30pm
- Ocean Community Services Food Pantry
200 Monmouth Avenue, Lakewood, New Jersey
Mondays through Thursdays 9:00am to 12:00pm
FIX IT PROGRAM – Provides minor home repairs for seniors living in Ocean County.
HOUSING SERVICES — Our Homelessness Prevention Program emphasizes both immediate and longer-term strategies for reducing homelessness and strengthening self-sufficiency. While housing units are not offered at all locations, we help individuals and families remain housed through rent/mortgage and utilities assistance.
CLOTHING AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS — Residents in need can “shop” for gently-used clothing and household items.
TAX PREPARATION — Provides free tax preparation February through April by appointment only.
HOLIDAY/SEASONAL ASSISTANCE — Provides eligible residents with assistance during Easter, Back-to-School time, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
PARISH SERVICES — Provides support for individuals and families referred by parishes in Monmouth County. Services include:
- Case management
- Financial assistance
- Referral to other community resources
Access to Parish Services is only through a referral for assistance from a parish.
PROJECT HOPE — Provides individuals and families who live in poverty and are homeless or facing the threat of homelessness with opportunities to develop skills and resources needed to achieve well-being and lead self-sufficient lives. Core components address:
- Workforce Readiness
- Health and Wellness Education and Services
- Essential Life Skills and Community Living
CHILD/ADOLESCENT COUNSELING — Mental health counseling for children and adolescents with emotional or behavioral challenges. Psychiatric evaluation and medication monitoring available as an adjunct to counseling services. Medicaid and sliding scale accepted.