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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!!!
The Seirra House has a great team of people to work with and they are doing an excellent job with supporting young women.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
I found my love for Sierra House during my internship. I watched as the staff at Sierra House continuously went beyond (what I considered normal at that time) to assist the clients in getting resources to be self-sufficient or to simply meet a goal. I watched in awe at how effortless it was for the staff to continue case management with clients who already graduated out of the program but needed further assistance in one thing or another. It was obvious, Sierra House is about ending homelessness.
I started working for the Sierra House in September of last year and I must say working here has taught me a lot and have change me as a person it feels good to be a part of a or Organization Such as the Sierra House they have opened up a lot of doors for young women and children. I'm very thankful to be a part of such a wonderful organization such as the Sierra house.
Sierra House's commitment to helping women and children is unparallel. The staff goes above and beyond to serve their residents. They do anything from driving residents hours away to find housing and jobs, to helping them with family court to seeking donations for the needs of the residents. The residents are empowered to become better mothers, employees and students. They learn financial management, household management and parenting skills. The women who graduate the program are able to be self sufficient and take care of their own household. This program truly cares and helps the community and East Orange is better with their presence.
Sierra House is a great charity committed to its mission. It offers awesome volunteer opportunities and excellent services. The program is results driven and life changing for its residents, clients and customers.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.