Founded in 1998, Our Place employs a multi-faceted approach to counseling, rehabilitating and guiding troubled Jewish youth in their return to mainstream society. They have a 24hr crisis hotline for youth at risk (718-692-4058)
When a teen enters an Our Place location for the first time, the first thing he/she experiences is a friendly greeting from a member of our staff. They may be coming to “hang out,” or have heard it’s a place to shoot some pool or work out. They come in carrying heavy baggage – substance abuse, expulsion/dropping out of school and/or estrangement from parents. The system failed them, and they are highly distrustful of figures of authority and structured environments. So, a simple “what’s up, nice to meet you” from the staff is all they receive. The interview comes later. Later still, the teen slightly lowers defenses, realizing that in everything Our Place is offering, the only catch is that someone cares about them, and has faith in them. In time, maybe they will realize the needs to talk to someone, and turn to a staff member at Our Place, perhaps the first adult in a long time that has earned their trust and respect. They begin the road to realizing that they want more out of life. This requires dealing with the “baggage” and for the first time, they have the opportunity to do so. This scenario, with many variations, is played out over and over at Our Place.
Our Place is a haven for over 800 to 1000 teenagers annually from all strains of Jewish communities facing a wide range of problems and issues.
The role of Our Place is “Whole Life Therapy”. This is an integrated, far-ranging approach that provides the stable atmosphere that a functioning family normally would. We will discuss the services and activities that Our Place provides for these teens in three sections: Physical and Recreational, Psychosocial/Emotional and Spiritual.