A program that helps teens and older children at the shore overcome disdvantaged surroundings and build better futures gets a $25,000 boost to reach its goals.

Harbor House check

Ocean's Harbor House of Toms River was given the grant by the OceanFirst Foundation for Project LEAP, which focuses on youths age 10 to 19.

The initiative aims to help them gain skills for life such as nutritional sense, complete their educations, open paths to employment and teach behavioral patterns to help them avoid the traps of homelessness as adults. It will be run through Ocean Harbor House's Emergency Youth Shelter.

OceanFirst Foundation has poured $500,000 into Ocean's Harbor House programs since 1996, according to Foundation Executive Director Sid Colvin. "Their continued generosity and support of our youth helps the Ocean County community," he said in a statement, "and really makes a difference in the lives of our young people and their families."
Ocean's Harbor House offers safe haven to children and young adults ages 10 to 21 who have left home, suffer neglect, abuse or abandonment, or have nowhere to live. More than 8,000 young people each year are estimated to take advantage of free and confidential shelter, food, clothes, counseling, career development, health services and other support systems.

If you'd like to learn more about the organization, or to volunteer, visit http://www.oceansharborhouse.org.

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