Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Sierra House

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

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

Mission: Our mission is to improve the prospects of individual achievement for at-risk youth and young adults through education and community services, thereby contributing to the long-term stability of our community.

Results: Since inception, Sierra House has served 103 women and children. Of the total population served 71 were adults and 32 were babies. At intake (before being enrolled): o 66% had earned a HS diploma or GED o 24% had not earned their HS diploma or GED o 4% were enrolled in HS or a GED program o 13% were enrolled in post secondary education/job training o 69% were unemployed o 3% received unemployment o 38% were mothers While living at Sierra House: o 31% enrolled in college or other postsecondary programs o 9 % enrolled in high school or a GED program o 28% became employed o 1 out of 71 or 1% became pregnant o 6 out of 71 or 9% received their HS diplomas/GEDs o 57% were aided in obtaining public assistance o 11% were terminated for noncompliance Sierra House is proud to report that 70% of those we served transitioned to self-sufficiency. Of this number: o 34% were reunified with their families o 22% moved in a shared apartment o 44% moved into their own apartment

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

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

43 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with Sierra House through Seton Hall University and I had an amazing experience. The women who run the house are incredible and their stories and willingness to help other women in need is absolutely inspiring. I would be honored to come back and help in any way that I can.

2 Lacey4

Volunteer

Rating: 4

At the sierra house they take in girls who have no where else to go and no where to raise their child which they had at a younger age then usual. Immediate tears formed in my eyes when I heard the house mother telling us the purpose of this organization. During our visit I got the job of re-organizing the donation closet. The whole time I was doing this I felt choked up and like I wanted to give them more. There were outdated clothes, clothes that do not match, and shoes without the correct pair. It made me want to give everything I have to them. I will definitely be donating some clothes in the near future. Outside we were weeding their gardens and cleaning up the place which made it look beautiful and like a nice home to live in. The organization is a very good cause and I wish we could of stayed and helped more. They were even so generous to provide us with lunch and feed us pizza! It was a great experience and very shocking to try to relate my life to the ones of the girls who live in this house. I definitely think they could use more help and should be given more attention. And bless the house mother, she is doing great things for her community and certainly giving back. One last thing I wanted to mention was one of the workers there told us her story and said she had formerly lived at that house and came back to serve other girls because she wanted them to know it was possible to become something other than just a teen mom. Overall it was really inspiring and I enjoyed my time at the sierra house!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I loved volunteering at the Sierra House. The people there were super friendly and welcoming. It really taught me how lucky I am to be where I am and I'm glad to know that there is a place like the Sierra house for people to go to if needed. Everyone was very pleasant and friendly and went above and beyond my expectations. I loved it there and I look forward to going there again soon.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went there to volunteer doing makeup for an event they had and ended up doing professional photos for them as well. The girls and workers could not have been more appreciative and warm and friendly. I was extremely impressed with the house and the systems in place for the girls. they truly help them better themselves in all ways. I have since been collecting donations and putting together a fundraiser because I can't think of a more deserving place. They are ALL very special people.

Author A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I mentor the girls there from time to time and I have to say, they are a bunch of bright young ladies with a great future ahead of them. I believe that they are able to shine bright because they have the privelege of not worrying about safety and security for them and their child.

At Sierra House, the young ladies have structure. There is an entire plan mapped out to help them become responsible, indendent young adults. There is also counseling to help them consider what profession they want to secure. I've stood and watched the ladies coming and going, sometimes with child in hand, sometimes carrying their babies. Each of them are focused on their goals and often uplifting one another.

The staff is very encouraging and I always see them advising and guiding the young ladies.
I'm so proud that I was introduced to the program as a mentor. I loved having a hand in giving the
young ladies one to grow on. If I had the funding, I'd surely donate and sponsor the Sierra House
on and ongoing basis because I've seen first hand what it does to help young women. This is a
necessary program of which we need more.

Andrea Clinton, Founder of People Helping People, Inc.; Director of Big Sister Program

Kareen C.

Donor

Rating: 5

We were most impressed by the family environment created by the staff.

Kristen41

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered at Sierra House through Jersey Cares. It's a great organization that supports the housing and development needs for young women and their children. Sierra House provides career and mentoring programs, so that the women can transition out of the house and be self-sufficient.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Sierra House provides a comfortable and structured environment for it's residents that allows them to get back on track with their lives. The women of Sierra House are given every opportunity to overcome some of the challenges they have faced in their lives. If you are looking for a cause that has all the essential qualities to accomplish its desired result this is it.



Gilbert Ross

Ebony J.

Advisor

Rating: 5

SIERRA HOUSE HAS OPENED ITS DOORS AND HEART FOUR YOUNG WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN NEED OF SUPPORT, TRANSITIONAL HOUSING AND LIFE SKILLS. I AM SO GLAD TO BE APART OF SUCH A GREAT ORGANIZATION.

Donor

Rating: 5

I attended the Grand Opening of Sierra House and have been hooked ever since on its purpose and progress. The Executive Director and staff are phenomenal in providing a safe and homey environment for young women who have aged out of the foster care system and find themselves homeless and often with young children. Sierra House provides not only supportive housing, but also education and job opportunities, social and emotional support, guidance and mentoring, fundraising activities, and so much more to enable its residents to succeed and soar. Sierra House of East Orange, NJ is a must-support, must- admire nonprofit organization that is providing a high-quality service to homeless women and children. I look forward to the day when Sierra House transforms into a Sierra House Village!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

On behalf of the City of East Orange, Mayor's Office of Employment and Training, I am writing in support of Sierra House and their outstanding service to the community in regard to women’s services and homelessness. Sierra House has been in existence many years and has proven to provide a safe haven for those that have been in need of shelter and life skills. We have referred clients to your organization and have always been extremely satisfied with the results. Overall, Sierra House has been an impeccable staple in our community and we thank you.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love this organization because it is consistant with its involvement and improvment with the communitie. Many organization talk the talk, however from watching so closely the Sierra House talks and walks the walk and is very result driven.

Koodoes to the Sierra House and thanks for caring about the humans that need humans.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Sierra house has done great things for these young ladies. I am so glad that I got a chance to visit them and see all the wonderful tings that they have done and still are doing. I wish more people cared as much as they do for these girls.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

My local National Association of Social Workers chapter sponsored a barbeque at the Sierra House in 2013 and were impressed with the plans the young women had and the transparency and warmth of the staff. They do great work and I hope my chapter does an activity with them again.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I recently attended the "Chat and Chew" BBQ at Sierra House as part of the professional social worker group that sponsored the event. This was the third time I had visited. Previously, I had helped with their Spring planting event. I enjoyed contributing to this effort and receiving Sierra House hospitality!

I believe that this nonprofit achieves its mission and deserves to gain more support from foundations and community efforts. They make it clear that although they always need more funding, that they also welcome volunteers who "want to make a difference" in the lives of the young women who live in Sierra House. These women can benefit from talking with professionals who can inspire and guide career aspirations and teach necessary skills. I hope to do this from my host agency. I am always inspired by the transparency and warmth of Sierra House staff.

2

Client Served

Rating: 4

I was 22 years of age when I entered into Sierra House. I was very depressed due to the fact that my daughter was taken by DYFS because of my finances and my living situation. I was devastated and had little hope of moving forward with my life. Moving to Sierra House has helped me to have a stable roof over my head and food on the table and I was also able to get my daughter back. Since being at Sierra House, I have received Medicaid, unemployment, found my own apartment, and built great relationships. The classes I attended at Sierra House were also rewarding and life changing. I would like to thank Sierra House for the opportunity and allowing me to be a part of a life changing experience.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a 26yr old mother with a 4yr old daughter. I fell on hard times with my first apartment and I didn’t have the support of my daughter’s father, so I ended up losing my place and becoming homeless with a child. One day I opened up to a social worker who works in my daughter’s school and she helped me find Sierra House. I was very broken coming in because I was feeling sad, angry, lost, and confused. This house has helped me to regain the things I have lost, not only materials but also my spirit. I have been here for 5 months and now I’m moving out into my own apartment. The Social Worker on staff helped me look for places and to fill out applications until I found the right one. I am very proud of myself but I could not have done it without the beautiful staff here at Sierra House. I love this house and all the ladies. My daughter was always safe and joyful and I was very blessed to find Sierra House.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Sierra House was a big help to me in my life. I did not have much when I moved in October, 2012. The house staff gave me a lot of support when I was feeling down. I could come to the staff about any and everything and they never judged me. When I first moved in, I didn’t have my high school diploma. The Social Worker worked with me to get me ready to take my GED. They provided me with a tutor and I ended up passing. They also helped me with job searching, resume writing and interview skills. Although I don’t want to leave I understand that I have to take care of my responsibilities. However, I would love to come back for classes, activities, and volunteering.

Client Served

Rating: 4

The Sierra House helped me with TRA, empowerment, financial literacy, and life coaching classes. The one on one and group counseling was very helpful and effective, in these sessions I was able to express my feelings with the things I was going through. They also helped me with job resources and connecting back with my family in a healthy, positive, and more productive way. I was also able to see how other young ladies like me raise their children and it gave me a sense of knowing that if they can do it then so can I. Overall Sierra House has helped me tremendously, and I will forever be grateful to them.

Client Served

Rating: 4

I am very appreciative of the help that Sierra House has given me. The staff at the Sierra House was very pleasant and always helpful; they helped me find a job and helped me grow into a more mature understanding individual. I met wonderful people who I would like to keep in touch with and I am grateful that they accepted me so quickly. I do not know what I would have done without the help of Sierra House.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was 18 years old when I entered sierra House. I was very depressed due to my finances, the living situation with my child’s father, my family, and life itself. I needed guidance and education on how to survive as a single mom. As I settled into Sierra House I got to see other single independent mothers taking care of their children, and I was able to believe that I can do the same thing. Since I’ve been at Sierra House I’ve received public assistance, housing, food, clothing, wonderful relationships and love and support from the residents and the staff. I know my life has truly been impacted by this great experience, and the lives of my son and I will never be the same.