ROCHELLE PARK — When victims of domestic violence eventually reach out for help, they need more than just a temporary place to stay.

Many are in need of services to help them rebuild their lives — career counseling, financial planning, and therapy, for example — and avoid rebounding to the abusive living situation.

Center for Hope and Safety, the designated domestic violence services organization in Bergen County, worries it won't be able to fully offer these services for much longer without a major financial boost from the community.

The center's Time of Hope campaign seeks to raise $100,000 by June 30, the end of the organization's fiscal year.

Calls to the center's 24/7 hotline have increased 46% during the pandemic. At the same time, funding is significantly down — the organization hasn't been able to host its primary fundraising event, Evening of Hope, for two years now.

"We have lost private dollars, private donations that we have been able to rely on year after year," added Julye Myner, executive director. "Right now we've been able to meet all of the needs coming our way. I'm not confident that we'll be able to do that two months from now."

Myner said the center's ability to offer safe housing won't be impacted by financial woes, but a reduction in funding directly translates into losing employees that would typically offer legal help or case management services.

Statewide in 2020, hotline calls and requests for services related to domestic violence increased by 63% compared to 2019, according to the Department of Children and Families.

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

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