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About Us

The HOPE Center – The House of HOPE of Ocean County, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that serves as a place to address the basic needs of an increasing number of people in crisis. The HOPE Center opened its doors in 2008 and since that time has served over 70,145 individuals and families. Today, The HOPE Center offers the following services: A client-choice food pantry and community garden, emergency shelter assistance, utility assistance, rental assistance, transportation, advocacy and coordinating service with partner agencies.
About The House of Hope
The HOPE Center mission

Our Mission

Within a place of hope and faith, our mission is to serve individuals and families in crisis with dignity and compassion, providing for their basic human needs and striving to empower each person to achieve his or her greatest level of self-sufficiency.


We rise by lifting others.

The HOPE Center – House of Hope of Ocean County, Inc. was established by the local Clergy Association when the need was recognized for a centralized location in Ocean County that could serve as a place to address the basic needs of an increasing number of people in crisis. The House of Hope of Ocean County, Inc., a New Jersey Non-Profit Corporation received its Certificate of Incorporation (non-profit corporation), on June 1, 2004, and was approved by the Internal Revenue Service on February 28, 2005, as tax exempt under section 501 (c) (3).

Those who come to The HOPE Center are provided with supportive care and information to help them access community services, navigate the social services system, resolve issues related to housing, utilities, medical and behavioral health concerns, transportation, and other needs.

The HOPE Center’s knowledgeable and extremely dedicated staff and volunteers meet with every client who comes in the doors to determine what resources and services meet their needs. The HOPE Center provides emergency shelter assistance, rental assistance, utility assistance, transportation, gift cards, school supplies, coats, toys and so much more to those in need.

The HOPE Center’s expanded Food Pantry and Community Garden provide perishables, as well as non-perishables to our clients in a “Client Choice” environment which our guests find more dignified and empowering. We also provide guidance on other food pantries. Guidance and referrals are also provided over the telephone to an increasing number of clients who are physically unable to get to The HOPE Center.
The HOPE Center hosts Operation BBQ Relief in Toms River

2021 Impact

The HOPE Center surrounds and supports those in need whenever and wherever possible. In 2021, with the generous support of those in our community, The HOPE Center:

In 2020, 333 nights of safe shelter were provided to individuals and families seeking assistance. In 2021, this number dramatically increased to 930 nights of safe emergency shelter. This number does not include those we were unable to assist due to limited funding.

2020 versus 2021, year over year numbers:

Board of Trustees

Liam O’Flynn


Phaedra Rossi


David C. Shipman


Jane O’Donnell


D. J. Cunningham

Reverend Susan S. Jones

Terrance L. Turnbach, Esq.

Jamie L. Schron-Roth, Esq.

Anna Yrad

Pastor Robbie Ytterberg, Ex‑Officio

Melissa Lotano


Amy S. VanBezooijen

Executive director

Stephanie Stockwell

financial administrator

Ashlee Pense

client services coordinator – human needs

Janine Popovich

client services coordinator – pantry