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Shelter open 24/7 for young Bergen County runaways, homeless

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

SHOUT OUT: Homeless and runaway youth in Bergen County now have 24-hour access to emergency shelter.

The county-run Bergen’s Place Youth Shelter also offers counseling and services aimed at protecting those youngsters — 11 to 17 years old — while improving their well-being and self-sufficiency.

It also provides outpatient services to help prevent shelter placement for dozens of youngsters who are at risk of homelessness.

The shelter is part of the new $28 million Bergen County Juvenile Detention Center. Although it’s on the same campus, it’s an entirely separate operation, with its own staff, programs and facilities, including a kitchen, outdoor recreation area and gym.

ADDRESS: 200 North Street, Teterboro
PHONE: (201) 336-3951

Youngsters can enter as walk-ins at any time, officials said. They are not under any restrictions and can leave at any time.

They continue to attend school in their communities, with buses from their home districts picking them up and dropping them off every day.

“If the bus can’t be dispatched to the shelter, we make sure they get there,” Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan said.

“Bergen County’s seventy municipalities contain approximately 117,000 youth between the ages of 10 and 19,” Donovan said. “With young people ages 12 to 17 at a higher risk for homelessness than adults, it is clear that there is a need for this 24-hour youth shelter in Bergen County.”

Operated by Bergen County Human Services Division of Family Guidance, the shelter is funded by a three-year federal grant of $461,787.

A study by the Urban Institute found that one in five youth have run away from home by the age of 18 — half of them more than once.

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