• Our Mission

    Harbor House provides a safe haven and caring environment for vulnerable youth to enable them to unlock their potential and learn skills that will empower them to build healthier lives, relationships and futures.

  • The Goals of Harbor House
    • To create and support services that will help youth transition safely to adulthood and lead healthy productive lives
    • To alleviate the problems of runaway homeless and abused youth
    • To reunite youth with their families and encourage the resolution of intrafamilial problems
    • To strengthen family relationships by promoting safe & stable living conditions for the youth
    • To identify resources in the community and develop placement options for the youth that are homeless
    • To develop services that embrace diversity and provide opportunities for youth to fully participate in the planning and implementation of programs which affect their lives/ families / and their communities
    • To be a voice for youth and families in need through community awareness/ public education/ and advocacy activities

Homeless Shelter for TeensOcean’s Harbor House is dedicated to assisting homeless, runaway, abused, neglected and abandoned youth, ages 10-21.

Located along the central Jersey Shore, we work with youth, ages 10-21, primarily from Ocean and Monmouth Counties. Since our doors opened, we have served youth from 17 NJ counties.

Since 1988, Harbor House has helped tens of thousands of children and their families with temporary and transitional housing, counseling and supportive services. Further, our agency has utilized the skill and dedication of hundreds of staff and devoted community leaders, as well as countless volunteers – all driven to support our mission.

Harbor House is proud to be affiliated with other local, state and regional agencies that help promote and support our efforts. This approach allows the agency to:

  • respect its heritage,
  • enhance its present operations, and
  • ensure its future growth and commitment for all youth in need.

What People Are Saying

More Testimonials

IRS Forms 990

Below, you can find links to PDFs for our most recent IRS Forms 990. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it for free by clicking this link.

If you have any questions regarding any content of these reports, please contact the Executive Director, John Piscal at 732.929.0096, ext. 207 or at jpiscal@oceansharborhouse.org


Founded in June, 1985 by a group of concerned citizens and community leaders, Ocean’s Harbor House was created to address the needs of an emerging population: homeless youth.

Click here for a 1987 article on the beginnings of Ocean’s Harbor House.

On August 8, 1988, the agency opened the doors to our Emergency Youth Shelter on Windsor Ave. in Toms River to provide a safe haven for five youth to help get them off the streets and out of abusive and dangerous homes. Through planned strategic activities, the agency has witnessed significant growth throughout its many years of operation to address the evolving needs of children and youth.

In 2004, the agency expanded to another location on Conifer St. in Toms River and began to house youth in the Supervised Transitional Living Program (STLP). Once again, thanks to the generous support of the community, a 12-bed facility was constructed and currently houses youth ages 16-21.

Since then, two Ocean County programs have been added: the Family Crisis Intervention Unit (FCIU) and Electronic Monitoring (EM). These programs have enabled Ocean’s Harbor House to become a complete youth social services agency.

For more information on all of our current services, please visit our programs page.

Wellness Policy

Ocean’s Harbor House is committed to providing a healthy environment for all residents designed to lead to a healthy lifestyle and lifelong maintenance of healthy habits.  As such, the organization has developed a wellness policy which incorporates nutrition education and standards, physical activity, and other learning activities.

Nutrition Education Goals

The shelter will educate, encourage, and support healthy eating by all residents.

Nutrition Standards

The shelter will comply with the current USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The shelter will ensure that breakfast, lunch, and after-school snack meet the requirements of the Board of Nutrition.  The dinner menu will be periodically reviewed by a licensed dietician to ensure it meets nutritional standards.

Nutrition Education Guidelines

The shelter will provide fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat and fat-free dairy, healthy food preparation, and health-enhancing nutrition practices whenever possible.  Lactose-reduced milk will be made available for residents with special dietary restrictions.

Nutrition education will be incorporated into weekly Healthy Living Groups and well as meal preparation with the residents.

Nutrition education will involve sharing information with families whenever possible to positively impact students and the health of the community.

The shelter will provide enjoyable participatory activities in order to encourage youth to involve themselves in healthy meal preparation and consider nutrition when making healthier choices.

The shelter will incorporate nutrition education at the appropriate level in order to provide residents with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health.

The shelter will accommodate the special nutrition needs of students and will accommodate cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity in consideration of meal-planning.

The staff at the shelter will be trained and knowledgeable about Board of Child Nutrition/USDA nutrition requirements.

Physical Education Goals

Ocean’s Harbor House will provide opportunities for students to maintain physical fitness.

Physical Activity Guidelines

Residents will participate in regularly-scheduled physical education classes at their schools during the day.

Residents will be encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities through their school that incorporate physical activity whenever possible.

Residents will be encouraged to participate in outside physical activities when whether permits during free time (e.g. basketball, walks, trips to the YMCA).

Physical activity including yoga and trips to the YMCA will be incorporated into weekly Healthy Living Groups.

Other Considerations

Residents will be encouraged to participate in menu-planning with staff geared toward recognizing what constitutes a healthy meal.

All meals will be prepared in a health-inspected facility in accordance with safety regulations.

Residents will be provided access to hand-washing before eating any meals or snacks.

Residents will be given sufficient time to eat in the kitchen or dining room and all meals will be scheduled at appropriate times during the day.

Food will never be withheld and the choices will never be altered as a punishment or consequence for inappropriate behavior.


You may view our Wellness Policy Assessment Tool by clicking here. If you have any questions or comments about our Wellness Policy, please email us at shelter@oceansharborhouse.org.

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