Project Self-Sufficiency is embarking on its 34th anniversary of helping individuals and families in the New Jersey counties of Sussex, Warren, Morris and Hunterdon to break the generational cycle of poverty, by addressing education, employment, parenting skills, legal problems, counseling and the many other interlocking issues often experienced by those in need. The agency offers a wide range of programs, from assistance with emergency basic needs, like clothing and food, to a sophisticated Career Center which houses state-of-the-art computer labs; varied programs are available in each county served by the agency. The agency offers participants a multi-faceted approach to success, with Case Managers assigned to each client to help them to identify and work towards their goals and a host of programs to support parents as well as children. During the pandemic, Project Self-Sufficiency staff pivoted swiftly to virtual programming while maintaining a robust food distribution program to local individuals and families.
Through its many programs, Project Self-Sufficiency offers services for children, teens, single parents, teen parents, displaced homemakers, adults, senior citizens and two-parent households. Based on their needs and individual situations, some clients are steered to specific training programs held in the Career Center, such as the New Jersey Youth Corps for high school drop-outs ages 16 – 25, the Higher Opportunity for Women program for displaced homemakers, or the home visitation programs for pregnant women or individuals who are parenting very young children. The agency operates the Campus to Campus program in conjunction with Sussex County Community College offering resources to local adults who are interested in pursuing a college education. All Career Center services are geared towards helping participants to fine-tune their skills and increase their employability.
Project Self-Sufficiency is the Central Intake provider for Sussex and Warren Counties. The agency also hosts three nationally acclaimed, evidence-based home visitation programs for pregnant women and parents of young children. The Nurse Family Partnership Program, the Healthy Families Program and the Parents as Teachers Program offer one-on-one support to participants as they navigate pregnancy, childbirth, and early childhood.
Recent innovations include PSS Journey, a refurbished RV, which travels throughout the area on a regular schedule, bringing computer workstations, internet access, job searching services, and supplies to residents in need. The agency is also launching The Food Project: Nourishing our Neighbors, using a van outfitted with refrigeration to facilitate the dissemination of food rescued from schools and grocers to those in need. During the ongoing public health crisis, Project Self-Sufficiency has welcomed the donation of food and personal care products, as well as the funds to purchase food; hundreds of bags of food have been distributed to families in need each week.
Most programs run year-round; the Higher Opportunities for Women and the New Jersey Youth Corps programs are currently accepting applicants. To make a donation, or for information about the programs and services offered at Project Self-Sufficiency, call 973-940-3500 or 844-807-3500, or visit www.projectselfsufficiency.org. Project Self-Sufficiency is a member of the Sussex County Council of Service Agencies.