Department of Human Services | Christie Administration’s Handbags of Hope Collection Helps Victims of Domestic Violence
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Women in Emergency Shelters Benefit from Bags Donated by State Employees
Trenton, NJ – Supporting the immediate needs of domestic violence victims, the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) and New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF) recently collected more than 200 gently used purses, tote bags and other bags for women living in emergency shelters.  Donated by state employees, the bags will be shared with HomeFront and Womanspace, both Lawrenceville-based non-profit agencies serving women in crisis.
 
 
“In the urgency of escaping an abusive living situation, women are sometimes forced to leave behind their purse containing important personal items and belongings,” said DCF Commissioner Allison Blake.  “While shelters provide a safe place to live and support services help the recovery process, Handbags of Hope further aids women in transitioning to independent living.”
 
“These agencies, like so many throughout the state, are committed to helping women and their children heal physically and emotionally from the abuse they’ve experienced,” said DHS Commissioner Jennifer Velez. “The bags help prepare these women for their next steps – for job interviews, for their kids to use for school, and to move on from the shelter.”
 
The departments provide programs and services addressing homelessness, poverty and domestic violence.  DCF’s Division on Women and Family and Community Partnerships develop and fund agencies that empower women in crisis.  DCF also supports the New Jersey Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline, which provides 24-hour, seven-day-a-week access for domestic violence victims and others seeking domestic violence services and information.  The hotline number is 1- 800-572-SAFE (1-800-572-7233).
 
DHS’ Division of Family Development works through the counties to provide assistance to women and their families through its Office of Child Support, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and with subsidized child care.
 
 
 
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