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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Sierra House

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Group Homes, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Shelters, Human Services, Job Training, Mental Health, Residential Mental Health Treatment

Mission: The mission of Sierra House is to improve the prospects of individual achievement for homeless and low to moderate individuals and families through housing, education, and community services, and thereby contributing to the long-term stability of our community.

Results: Since inception, Sierra House has served more than 400 homeless young women and their children. Sierra House is proud to report that 83% of those that we served transition to self-sufficiency, more than 50% complete their GEDs and/or enroll in college/trade schools and more than 70% obtain jobs.

Target demographics: homeless young women and mothers from all over the state of New Jersey to learn the skills needed for self sufficiency and to break the cycle of homelessness

Direct beneficiaries per year: homeless young women and homeless young mothers and their children.

Geographic areas served: State of New Jersey

Programs: shelter, counseling, life skills, educational advancement, and critical social services within a supportive family-like environment.

Community Stories

67 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a very well run charity where young women get the full support they need to be independent. They take a whole-person approach where they view each woman as a person and not just a bunch of problems they need to fix, and they provide support in many areas of life. The staff is very committed and qualified.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Prior to being introduced to The Sierra House I wasn't aware of homeless girls housing. I've always heard of facilities for adults but what a wonderful idea. It is a great way to get girls (Little Women in training) ready for the world. Going to The Sierra House always gives a welcoming of peace, love, friendship and family when entering until exiting. Everyone from the founder: Keely Freeman-Smith, Board Members during events, The little women in training and their house mothers are all pleasant with allowing volunteers to dive right in and indulgence with whatever's going on; whether it's helping put up their Christmas tree, Fundraising, The Annual Cookout or just gardening. My children have such a great time while visiting that they never want to leave.

Donavalisha Mickens: volunteer

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My name is Mellika George and I am an MSW Student at Rutgers University. I began my internship at Sierra House June 2018. My experience at Sierra House has been rewarding thus far! Sierra House is a phenomenal non-profit organization that is dedicated to the well-being of women, children, families, vulnerable populations, and the community. Sierra House staff are motivated, cognizant, intellectual individuals who are driven by helping the populations above. I've seen first hand how staff members at Sierra House stretch themselves far, wide, and thin to meet the needs of clients. As Sierra House continues to grow and advance in a fast-paced society, the organization never ceases to get involved and tackle challenges. Sierra House has a very strong foundation and its leaders are devoted to continuing providing excellent service to the community.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love everything about the Sierra House. They have always gone above and beyond to help me get back on my feet. I am a former resident and have stayed there twice. The first time i wasn’t as serious about getting my life together i was more concerned about finally being out of the house. The second time around i took it more seriously. I ended up getting two jobs while there and finding a nice apartment to move into. Even after you move out the staff has great resources that they call and help you with just in case you need a little assistance. And as long as you didn’t cause any trouble while there they will always welcome you back if you fall into a slump and need to get yourself together. I recommend any young woman that is serious to call the Sierra House. Your life will change i guarantee it.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I started working for this nonprofit organization 6 months ago, the contributions and compassion not to mention patience, they give to these young women are astonishing. I've learned so much working here and I can't wait to see bigger and better things happen for Sierra House. Ms. Freeman and Ms. Boynes are phenomenal, you have to see it to believe it. The staff and the residents learn from each other. We're basically a really big family......lol. We'll go above and beyond for them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering at the Sierra house for years. I love to help out a organization that has such a great cause. I've seen many woman branch off on their own with the help of the Sierra house, and i am honored to be apart of the organization and will always help whenever i can.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am volunteering with Sierra House through Rutgers University. I have the opportunity to meet with other people that have different ethnic backgrounds. I am learning through those people that I meet.I am having an amazing experience so far. It really teaches me how lucky I am to be where I am. I am glad to know that there is a place like the Sierra house for those in need. Many of these young women that I met in the program, have the opportunities’ to be able to go back to school to get their high school diplomas. Some college degrees, to obtain jobs in the workforce, and also have the opportunity to reunite with their families. I am so glad to be able to participate in this organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am currently interning at Sierra House. My experience has been overwhelmingly amazing. I chose to intern at Sierra House because I wanted to apart of an agency that made a difference in young women lives as well as the community. The staff is really helpful and knowledgeable. It's a rewarding feeling to be involved with an agency that aligns with my passion.

Donor

Rating: 5

Given the extreme challenges that many of these women face, Sierra House sets ambitious goals for them, and in most cases it delivers. By providing full-time residential counseling and daily attention from a social worker for up to two years, Sierra House enables these young women to address all the obstacles they need to overcome, and to improve their functioning in all areas of their lives. Most alumni return to volunteer and to mentor new residents, attesting to how much they appreciate the help they have gotten. It's also important that the program is run by people from the community, who understand the challenges well, and have credibility and connections. Keely, the director, continuously looks for ways to enhance the program, and she has been very resourceful in finding ways to do so. We have supported Sierra House since 2009, because we have seen the results. Every year, Sierra House makes a major difference in the lives of many deserving young women.

Daniel Milder

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sierra House has an amazing staff that truly displays how much they care about their clients every day. Moreover, the organization is greatly focused on interacting with the local community and other local groups.

An exemplary organization!

Darryl B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a supporter of the Sierra House I feel so proud to be a part of an organization that gives smiles and hope to so many people who otherwise could not. It is an organization that is supportive and engaged in the communities growth and progress.

Keep up the good work!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Seirra House has a great team of people to work with and they are doing an excellent job with supporting young women.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Sierra House provided me the opportunity to be an intern there & further my education goals. The organization was a great representation of what giving back means! The staff and women housed there was awesome to work with.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Ebony Baker I been volunteering at The Sierra House for years. I think The Sierra House is a Excellent organizations because Most of the young ladies that livied in the Sierra House became successful.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the wonderful experience volunteering for a couple of events hosted by the Sierra House Staff. It was a very rewarding. The staff is very friendly and professional. The facility was keep in great standards. I will continue to give my time to help. Very fulfilling. They doing a extremely great job of supporting and providing thoose in need of resources.

Antwon Tarik F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the opportunity to volunteer with the Sierra House several times in recent years. The Sierra House was founded on and still operates with very high standards. The people who work there truly care about the lives of the women and work together to provide the best care for them. The high standards set by Sierra House leadership, provides a strong foundation for personal professional growth.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Being a board member has been an awesome experience for me. It gave me the opportunity to see how much a place like the Sierra House is so needed for young homeless women and children. I saw how the Sierra House gave these young women hope. Hope by providing them with the opportunity to get some of the skills that gave them the ability to accomplish some of life's necessities. Hope for them to become productive citizens. Hope to be able to provide thier children with a better life.
Many of these young women have been able to go back to school to get thier high school diplomas, some college degrees, and others to obtain jobs in the workforce. Most of these women feel if it was not for the Sierra House they would not have been able to accomplish these things.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Nijah F.

I came into Sierra House September 2017, and stayed there for almost a year. The program was really amazing, they help me manage with my children and provided life skills that thought me skills to maintain my day to day life. The staff was able to connect me with a program that assisted me with my rent. Although I'm no longer a resident in the program their staff still helps me when I have problems . They have great resources to help clients I would recommend this program to others in need.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Sierra House opened its doors for me twice without reservations I am truly thankful living at the “Ladies Mansion” I’ve learned soooo much most importantly personal development and the importance of securing a stable foundation for myself and children special Shout out to Ms Halimah the most compassionate person I know she beautiful inside and out My mentor for life and Ms Marcia dedicated, selfless, exuberant and considerate and of course to Ms Freeman for keeping the doors open

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Sierra House is an incredible organization that has helped many young ladies transition from homelessness to being self-sufficient. The staff there is unselfish, passionate, and dedicated to curing homelessness. The Executive Director Keely Freeman is the leader and founder of this great program. Her Knowledge, Wisdom and Desire to be the change that every one wants to see has big difference in the the state of New Jersey. I just want to thank Keely for allowing me to help in making her dream to cure homelessness a reality.