The mission of Zoe’s Place is to provide safe, supervised housing for pregnant teens and teen moms and their children, and to meet the need for critical education, skills and support services that will enable the teens to become self-sufficient. Zoe’s Place is designed to meet these goals in a supportive, caring environment, drawing on each girl’s strengths so that she may realize her full potential.
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Zoe’s Place, a New Jersey 501c3, was founded in 2003 by a group of committed professional women who responded to the need for safe, secure housing and services for this extraordinarily vulnerable group of children. Our primary mission is to provide a safe, supervised home and supportive services for homeless pregnant teens, teen mothers and their babies. Through our partnership with Bergen County’s Habitat for Humanity and extensive community support, we opened our first home in Garfield in June, 2011, and now it is a true home for 5 teen moms and their children.
Zoe’s Place established a Helpline (973.458.1007) in order to provide information, advocacy and support to the community. We have been inundated ever since with calls from teen moms and pregnant teens, and from care managers representing virtually every organization and agency the girls come in contact with. A call into the helpline is all a girl needs to do to receive emergency services, information or advocacy for herself and her child.
The stress and responsibility of being a young mother can be overwhelming and frustrating at times. Zoe’s Teen Mom Support Group gives the girls an opportunity to share their concerns and challenges while learning valuable skills and strategies for healthy parenting. The group meets bi-weekly with babysitting and a healthy meal provided. We have also implemented Zoe’s Mentors, a mentoring program which connects pregnant teens and teen moms with caring volunteer adult female mentors.
Zoe’s has received a generous grant from Women United in Philanthropy to establish a small social enterprise, Zoe’s Cupcake Cafe. The Cupcake Cafe, located at 740 Chestnut Avenue in Teaneck, NJ, provides employment and training opportunities for the girls we are connected with. Profit from the Cupcake Cafe is used to provide a source of sustainable funding for our home and the girls are given an opportunity to learn all aspects of the business including food preparation, sales, marketing, bookkeeping and customer service.
Our history is filled with challenges but also with many successes. We are proud of our accomplishments and are guided by the question "What would we want for our own daughters?"