You are so proud of your son on the day he moves into his own apartment. Just as proud as when he graduated, or when he found his first job. You even help carry the sofa. Your wife has given him the old set of dishes from the garage. Your mother donates an extra blanket. That winter when the old clunker he drives to get to work dies you help him to buy another more dependable car. On holidays he still comes home for the traditional family feast.
Now imagine that you are Rob. Eighteen years of age. Twelve years in the Child Welfare system. Numerous moves. But finally you find yourself at Bonnie Brae. Success leads to more success. You graduate from high school. Land your first job. Buy your first car. Settle into your first apartment. Life is good. Bonnie Brae has been there with you every step of the way.
But then things slowly start to go south. The car breaks down every week. You are often late for work. Your roommate who helps with the rent moves out. You struggle to find a new roommate. You are laid off from your job. You have nowhere to go for the holidays. You become more and more depressed. The landlord wants you out. To go where?
Our community based transitional living homes help us do more for young men, like Rob. Residents of our Powers House in New Brunswick, Van Houten House in Bound Brook, and Brozowski Liberty House in Bridgewater, are learning how to independently manage their time, attending school and juggling jobs and community service activities. They are also learning other essential life skills, including home maintenance, meal preparation, laundry, personal finance, and how to use public transportation. This vital transition period builds and reinforces both competence and confidence in these vulnerable young men, dramatically improving the chances of a successful move to independent life. We are forging partnerships that are helping our young men with education, vocational training and job placement. We are the bridge for these young men to become productive adults.
You can make a difference for generations of young men whose lives will be changed because of our New Brunswick, Bound Brook and Bridgewater homes– giving them hope and opportunities for their futures.
$5,000: Can help to name a bedroom in the Powers or Browzowski Liberty House, helping to provide young men a safe and secure place to sleep each night.
$1,000: Can help to provide for the physical care and upkeep of one of the community homes – just like your own home, our homes need regular care and maintenance to keep them sound.
$500: Can help to provide supplies for a young man as he becomes a new resident of the community homes, providing for linens and the basics for life in his new home.
$250: Can help to provide a discharge care package for the graduates of our program, complete with bus/train tickets, groceries and non-perishable items necessary for a young man starting out. Helping him to feel secure and supported.
$100: Can help to provide for appropriate work clothes for our young men as they set off for college or a first job. Helping him to feel better about himself and his future.