Newton, N.J. – Project Self-Sufficiency will initiate a new domestic violence prevention initiative, Project Safe & Strong, thanks to funding received from the New Jersey Department of Children & Families.
In partnership with Domestic Abuse & Sexual Assault Intervention Services (DASI), the new program aims to educate the public about domestic violence, sexual assault and intimate partner violence prevention, and link at-risk individuals with community resources.
The agency will conduct a bilingual outreach effort in English and Spanish to raise awareness of the issues and highlight the resources available to affected individuals in Sussex, northern Morris and northern Warren Counties. In addition, PSS Journey, Project Self-Sufficiency’s mobile services vehicle, will be dispatched to the communities of Franklin, Hopatcong, Sussex, Montague, Stanhope and Vernon to distribute materials and information designed to stem the tide of domestic violence.
The targeted initiative will include employability training, computer skills education and job placement services onboard PSS Journey, on-site at the PSS campus in Newton, and virtually through Zoom. Financial literacy workshops will augment the curriculum. Safety planning and secure shelter for those at risk of domestic violence will be provided by DASI, as needed. All programming will be available to the public and be available virtually or in person at the agency’s campus, onboard PSS Journey, or at public facilities such as libraries and hospitals.
“The flexible nature of Project Safe & Strong allows Project Self-Sufficiency to tailor services to meet the individual needs of the individuals impacted by domestic violence or sexual assault and provide help where and when it is most needed,” explains Project Self-Sufficiency Executive Director Deborah Berry-Toon. “Project Self-Sufficiency has worked in close collaboration with DASI for more than three decades by providing a full range of supportive services to those impacted by domestic violence. Achieving family stability and economic self-sufficiency are key components in ending the pattern of domestic violence, and we are looking forward to helping these individuals on the road to a more secure, self-sufficient future.”
In conjunction with community partners, Project Self-Sufficiency will address emergency basic needs assistance, educational programs, housing resources, utility assistance, medical and mental health services and childcare. Program participants will be linked with a dedicated case manager who will provide supportive counseling, in English or in Spanish. Participants can take advantage of virtual and in-person services available in Project Self-Sufficiency’s career center, like employability training, computer classes and job placement services, as well as the agency’s popular Higher Opportunities for Women program.
Bi-lingual workshops about domestic violence prevention and financial literacy will be available in person or virtually. Individual legal consultations and group seminars will also be provided. Regular support groups in English and Spanish will help reduce isolation, create a sense of community and address issues relevant to victims and survivors of domestic violence. Program participants will also be eligible to access home visitation services, parent-child activities, child abuse prevention, victim advocacy, medical accompaniment, legal assistance and other resources offered by Project Self-Sufficiency.