York Street Project
Hours of Operation
Monday-Friday - 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Saturday & Sunday- CLOSED
About York Street Project
The mission of the York Street Project is to weave innovative programs that shelter, feed, educate and promote the healing and independence of persons in need, especially women, children, and their families.
This mission is acted out in interrelated and coordinated yet separate programs:
The Nurturing Place – Early childhood development for homeless and low-income children aged three months to five years. Here they can overcome damage to their minds, bodies, and spirits from the effects of poverty, poor nutrition and dysfunctional family situations.
Childhood development center serving children from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds including homeless, low income, and York Street neighborhood infants and children.
2 months to 5 years
Served to date:
Over 700 children
“Somewhere along the way, someone put their hands on the shoulder of a child and said ‘you matter’. That’s what you’re doing here collectively. You signify this child matters… this life.”
– Journalist and Commentator, Bill Moyers
Housed within the York Street Project buildings in Jersey City, New Jersey, The Nurturing Place provides children, many of whom live in the on-site transitional housing facility, St. Joseph’s Home, with an educational and supportive environment while their mothers are at work or school.
Six classrooms provide developmentally appropriate space for the following age groups: Infant/Toddler (2 month – 18 month olds), Transitional Toddler (18 month to 2 year olds), Toddler B (2-3 year olds), Pre-School (3-4 year olds), Pre-Kindergarten (4-5 year olds). In the summer months, we welcome back the school-age children who have graduated from the program (6-10 year olds).
Through our unique curriculum, we aim to identify and arrest developmental delays caused by lives of poverty, homelessness, and abuse. Unchecked, these delays continue the cycle, forever limiting children to lives of emotional, social, and educational difficulty.
Our curriculum is experiential-learning based and focuses on the following three objectives:
- Enhancement of social, cognitive, physical, and emotional skills
- Learning the meaning of teamwork and its importance
- Development of an appreciation and sense of respect for the world around us
Vicki Hayes is the Director of The Nurturing Place. She oversees the center and continually evaluates and assesses the effectiveness of the program to provide the best possible opportunity for our children. The Nurturing Place’s faculty and staff members work closely with the children daily. We also are fortunate to have the services of foster grandmothers and regular volunteers to work with the children one or two full days each week. A strong group of volunteers from local High Schools and members of the local corporate community also assist us during the week.
St. Joseph’s Home – Provides homeless families with 12 months of supportive, communal living as the parent(s) works to improve their life and attain permanent, affordable housing. More than just a shelter, St. Joseph’s provides its families with ongoing social services from a team of professionals that include counseling, crisis intervention, family therapy, health education, parenting, life skills, and family budgeting.
Our Home, a five-story brownstone built and occupied by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace in 1891 and once operated as an orphanage, was renovated in 1988 to accommodate a transitional housing program for homeless women (18 years +) and their children (0-18 years of age). St. Joseph’s home provides supportive emergency shelter and transitional housing for parents and their children.
At St. Joseph’s, each family gets their own private bedroom space – with a lockable door. Families share the common living space as well as responsibilities for the maintenance and governance of their floor, in preparation for the day when they will be living independently.
Our Housing Programs:
Because there are many different needs, we have multiple types of programs to support our families.
- Emergency Shelter– Bridge Housing for families who are in immediate need of shelter. Many are fleeing domestic violence or unsafe living situations. This housing is intended to be short term while we assist them into an alternate housing situation. They typically stay with us for 6 months or less and receive the same supportive services as our transitional housing families, just for a shorter period of time. We have the capacity to serve up to 11 families onsite in this type of housing.
- NEW Pathways– Our maternity group home, is a transitional housing program for pregnant or parenting youth who are classified as homeless or runaways, 16-22 years old. There is a focus on positive youth development and intensive supportive services to prepare these young families for self-sufficiency. This program launched in February 2020 and currently serves 7 families.
- Hybrid Program– A combination of onsite transitional housing and off-site supportive housing program. Families typically live onsite for up to 6 months. Once some of their barriers to housing have been addressed, families are transitioned to their own apartment in the community, where we continue to provide them with intensive supportive services and rental assistance. Families receive a total of 24 months of assistance between the onsite and offsite housing. Designed for families with higher needs and greater barriers than those served in our shelter, these families benefit from more time while they work to gain stability to ensure success in transitioning to independent living. We have the capacity to serve up to 20 families in this program.
Rapid Rehousing- Rooted in the belief that housing, first and foremost, is essential to ending homelessness. Homeless families are eligible for this type of off site housing for up to two years. Because we know that homelessness is much more than just a housing problem, our Rapid Rehousing program pairs rental assistance with intensive supportive services, such as case management, mental health, child care services, transportation assistance, life skills workshops, utility assistance and essentially anything that will help them achieve the goal of housing stability and independence. We serve up to 32 families at a time in this program.
St. Mary’s Residence – Safe, affordable housing for single working women with limited incomes. The Residence provides affordable housing, meals, and communal living services for each woman, allowing her to concentrate on improving her job skills for a better future.
St. Mary’s Residence was founded in 1902 (re-dedicated in 1991). It offers safe, affordable housing annually for 43 single working women between 18-60 years old with limited incomes. The Residence provides affordable housing, meals, and communal living services for each woman, allowing her to concentrate on improving her language and job skills for a better future.
How do you survive when your income falls at or below the poverty line? With the high costs of basic normal living, the majority of your income goes towards housing leaving little left over for food and other needs.
At St. Mary’s Residence, a woman can find the opportunity to better her living condition as she works to improve her quality of life.
- St. Mary’s Residence in Jersey City, New Jersey has known an unbroken history of housing the economically-poor since 1902. The historical majority of residents in St. Mary’s represent the working poor, a population that is under served and almost invisible in relation to federal and state domestic welfare policy.
- St. Mary’s provides an affordable, clean and secure environment for its residents. The Residence maintains 43 private bedrooms, and several communal areas: 20 bathrooms, one dining room, one pantry, three lounge areas, and is home to the organization-wide Clothing Boutique, and a tiny chapel.
Services We Provide:
- St. Mary’s serves as a safe, affordable rooming house for working. low-income women. Each resident pays monthly rent for a private bedroom (approximately 150 sq. ft.) and shares common living space with other residents. Breakfast and dinner are served daily in a spacious dining room. Residents at St. Mary’s are typically under employed and do not have the skills needed to advance in their jobs. Living at St. Mary’s allows time to improve their skills and/or advance their education and start earning a higher income.
- The rent includes a private fully furnished room, one complete set of bedding, 2 meals per day, housekeeping in the common areas and a private storage area. Coin operated laundry facilities are located onsite. Admittance is based upon need, employment status and a first-come-first-served basis. Most women stay at St. Mary’s Residence an average of two years.
The summer months at York Street Project give us the opportunity to open up a world of possibilities for our children. Each July and August, we take our children on as many daily and overnight trips as possible to explore the beach, go camping, visit a museum, see a farm, have fun in a park, cool off in a pool, and other fun activities!
Did you know that you can make this happen by sponsoring a child or family for one or more such activities this summer?
Every parent dreams of giving their child(ren) a summer to remember. Please help expose our children to these worlds of culture, entertainment, and experiences that they might not otherwise ever see or do.
All field trips are chaperoned by members of the York Street Project staff.
Summer Program Field Trips
Each summer, we provide all the children attending our summer program at The Nurturing Place the opportunity to experience a variety of activities that build positive experiences.
The Summer Enrichment Program is not only fun and eye-opening, but ensures our children are continually learning even when school is not in session. The learning curriculum is enhanced by offering experiential field trips that broaden the horizons and minds of our young students.
The children attending our Summer Enrichment Program experience a variety of the activities listed, depending on their age. Help make some young dreams come true this summer and make a donation to support our kids.
Working with nearly 300 women and children each year, we are proud that this network of support enables 75% of our families to leave our Home and begin their journey to a new life of independence. This is made possible by the generosity of so many who provide cash or product donations, volunteer on-site, sponsor a field trip for our students, or spread the word. Please call, email, or visit our website to find out more.
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