March Mitzvah-in-a-Minute Supports Covenant House NJ
Helping Homeless and Trafficked Youth at Covenant House NJ
On Thursday, March 16, a group of volunteers from NCJW/Essex, led by the organization’s Anti Human Trafficking Committee, gathered to learn more about homelessness and human trafficking and to assemble care packages for residents of the Covenant House Newark Shelter, where 12% of the young people they serve say they have experienced sex or labor trafficking.
A Covenant House representative shared that they are increasingly dealing with human trafficking situations, in addition to their work with homeless youth between the ages of 18 – 21. Covenant House Newark Shelter provides immediate housing and care for more than 800 youths every year. Homeless and trafficked youth suffer disproportionately from trauma, sexual and physical abuse, involvement in the foster care system, domestic violence, mental health challenges, and life on the street.
Generous donations for the MIM included some of the residents’ most-requested items such as blankets, phone chargers, underwear and umbrellas they can keep as their own. Volunteers also assembled care packages and wrote notes of support and encouragement to be shared with the accompanied by notes of support and encouragement. Thank you to Anti Human Trafficking Co-Chairs Carol Cohen and Claudia Sandonato and event chair Sue Shusman.