Help for youth is just a text away

The holiday season can be stressful for all, including children, teens and young adults. In these times when youth face enormous pressures at school, at home, in their social circles and beyond, it is important to listen to what our young people are saying. The 2NDFLOOR text and helpline has been there for New Jersey’s 10- to 24-year-olds for over a decade. 2NDFLOOR is the only interactive text and helpline in New Jersey that has professional counselors supervising 24/7, is open to discuss any topic, and is geared toward 10- to 24-year-olds. No matter what problem/issue an adolescent is experiencing, 2NDFLOOR is a resource for them.

This statewide service is operated by the Monmouth County nonprofit organization 180 Turning Lives Around. 2NDFLOOR is a toll-free and confidential youth text and helpline available for texting or calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to all New Jersey young people, ages 10 to 24. Youth can text or call 2NDFLOOR at 1-888-222-2228 to text/speak with professionals and trained volunteers to find nonjudgmental and supportive responses to questions about bullying, unhealthy and abusive relationships, dating violence, mental health concerns and other challenging issues they may be facing at home or in school. The text and helpline is for New Jersey, always answered in New Jersey. and provides local New Jersey resources to youth. Additionally, the website has information and a message board for youth to share their concerns as well.

Keeping open the lines of communication with our young people is vital. It is important that they, their parents, teachers, counselors and other concerned adults all know that help is just a text or call away.

Anna Diaz-White

Executive Director

180 Turning Lives Around

Their Story

These brave women shared their stories with us. If their story sounds a bit like yours, please reach out to us today. 180 can help you like we helped them. We understand that the holidays can be an especially vulnerable time for families and 180 Turning Lives Around is here for you. 1.888.843.9262


#MeToo / Save the Date 4.20.18

With the Bobby Bandiera Band setting the stage for an evening to remember, 180’s Annual Celebration promises to be a special night to raise funds for our mission. This is our moment to say, enough is enough, and make our voices heard! Join 180 in solidarity and take action locally as part of the global #MeToo movement – together we can all make a difference.
Email to be placed on the early RSVP list. Invitation to follow.
Funds raised will support 180’s….. 
  • Rape care program
  • Sexual violence prevention education and advocacy
  • School outreach related to safe dates and healthy relationships
  • 24-hour Sexual and Domestic Violence Hotlines

A gift to 180 this Holiday Season….

$50 – helps a domestic or sexual violence survivor receive counseling with a licensed professional.

$75 – Provides crisis intervention, information and referrals to a rape survivor at all five area hospital emergency rooms after an assault.

$100 – helps to fund a counseling session which educates victims about restraining orders and prepares them for their day in court.

$250 – enables 180’s 2nd Floor Youth Helpline to visit a high school and distribute educational materials and information regarding topics such as suicide, safe dates and healthy relationships.

$500 – provides one of our art studios at 180’s Amanda’s Easel Program with paint, clay, canvases, puppets and all of the items our therapists need to work with our children.

$1,000 – provides a family with emergency shelter, food and supportive services at 180’s Safe House.


Jennifer stayed at 180’s Safe House

Dear Friends of 180,
Warm winter greetings from 180 Turning Lives Around!
This Holiday Season, I would like for you to meet Jennifer. Her name and identifying details have been changed to protect her for purposes of this story, but her experience with us is real. Her life forever changed for the better because of individuals like you who choose to support our mission. You make her story, and so many more like hers, possible. It is especially important for us to say thank you during this holiday season and to ask for your continued support on behalf of our neighbors in Monmouth County who will need our help in the coming year. Without you, we simply could not continue to change and save lives here in our community.
On behalf of the 180 Board of Trustees, staff and all of our survivor-families, we wish you a peaceful and safe new year.
Anna Diaz-White
Executive Director
180 Turning Lives Around
I came to 180 and stayed in their Safe House. I was pregnant with my first child. It wasn’t the first time he was violent, but this time he strangled me. I left him and found 180. The staff at the Safe House gave me the tools I needed to start anew. Safety and a place to stay at first, but the longer, more lasting benefits were the tools I was given to make sure that I lived a life free from abuse; self-confidence, inner strength, renewal and hope. These tools would set me free and would allow me to carve out a life away from him and safe for me and my baby. I gave birth while staying at the Safe House and thanks to 180 my son and I will be celebrating our first holiday together – on our own and safe. I will never forget my time with 180 and all of the guidance and support I received. While the first days of my motherhood were spent at 180’s Safe House, my infant and I were exactly where we were meant to be.
Jennifer’s story has been altered to protect privacy and safety. Names have been changed to preserve anonymity.

180 Turning Lives Around extends our congratulations to Time Magazine Person of the Year: The Silence Breakers

At 180 Turning Lives Around, we are here 24-hours a day, seven days a week, if you, or someone you know, wants to break the silence and receive safe, confidential and supportive services. Our caring and professionally trained staff are available by reaching out to: 1.888.264.RAPE.
To support 180’s Sexual Violence Programs, click HERE

Holiday Gift Card Drive for Families in Need

You can help 180 deliver holiday cheer this season by donating gift cards to families in need. Your donation of a gift card, in any denomination, will enable clients to gather what they need most for the holiday. For some, that will be the special toy their child is hoping to receive under the tree, for others it could mean tasty treats for the holiday meal, or essential items for their household.

When sending or dropping off gift cards, please be sure to include your name and address so that we may acknowledge your generosity. Gift cards can be mailed or dropped off to:
180 Turning Lives Around
Amanda Finn, Development Manager
1 Bethany Road, Building 3, Suite 42
Hazlet, NJ 07730
On behalf of all of us here at 180 Turning Lives Around, we sincerely thank you for your coninued support. Happy Holidays!


180’s Family Justice Center Opened in Freehold

A one-stop shop to aid domestic violence and sexual abuse victims has opened its doors in Monmouth County and is ready to start changing lives.

180 Turning Lives Around, a nonprofit organization working to halt different types of abuse affecting county residents, will operate a new Family Justice Center out of the county courthouse, located at 71 Monument St.

Before the Family Justice Center, victims in the darkest times of their lives were tasked with navigating the choppy waters of the criminal justice system to seek help, said Anna Diaz-White, 180’s executive director. Now, everything they need is in one place.

“I think it’s going to be a game changer in the way that victims can access services,” she said.

An intake center at the courthouse’s lower level will be the first step, where 180’s staff can ask questions and guide victims in the right direction.

The Family Justice Center is located at 40 Monument St., connected to the courthouse’s parking lot. Different services will be available, Diaz-White said. A lawyer from South Jersey Legal Services is on standby, available to provide legal guidance. Detectives from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office will be on-call from the Freehold office to assist in pressing charges and filing police reports.

The building also provides shelter for victims with children who may fear returning home. Access to local food pantries, counselors and job assessment and training are other services now readily available. The two-story-home-converted center will have no public access and will only be open to people who pass courthouse security.

In Monmouth County, the numbers of abuse victims are significant, said Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni. There were nearly 4,000 calls or reported incidents of domestic violence last year, and family courts in Freehold also heard requests for 1,600 restraining orders from domestic violence victims, he said. Those numbers put Monmouth County sixth-highest in New Jersey.

Diaz-White said her organization receives about 5,000 calls a year and not every incident they hear is reported to police. She said the main demographic for sexual and domestic violence victims is 20- to 40-year-old women. Diaz-White estimated 85 percent of victims in Monmouth County are women.

“We hope that it will stop the traumatization from here on out,” Gramiccioni said. “When somebody comes here, they get direction, they get assistance, they get what they’re entitled to.”

Monmouth County’s Family Justice Center is the fourth such center in New Jersey; others are located in Essex, Morris and Union counties. Diaz-White toured the state with Gramiccioni and elected officials over the past year to find the best solution for Monmouth County.

State Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-11), who volunteered as a rape crisis advocate years ago, said the center is a necessity.

“They’re already stressed, they’re already emotionally fragile,” she said of victims. “They don’t need five locations to sort out life and get things moving.”

The building was provided by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders at no cost, said Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry. It was previously used as the county’s Weights and Measures offices.

“This Family Justice Center will provide both comfort and justice to these victims and their families by offering so many services in one place,” Burry said.

Plans for the center began when 180 was awarded a $145,000 grant last year by Impact 100 Jersey Coast which will contribute to staffing and overhead costs. Grant money was provided by 145 women who each pledged $1,000 for a greater cause.

The new Family Justice Center is another piece of the large footprint 180 has established in Monmouth County. Main administrative offices are located in Hazlet and a secondary location, the Shore Regional Outreach Office, is based in Neptune.

180 also operates a 45-bed safe house and a 10-family transitional housing center in the county, both in different, undisclosed locations. The nonprofit also partners with Amanda’s Easel, a creative arts therapy program in Middletown.

As Hollywood executives, journalists and other prominent people are being called out for their alleged prior sexual assaults, Diaz-White said it spotlights the importance of the Family Justice Center.

“Of course these make headlines,” Diaz-White said, “but for every one of those, there are thousands of women, men and children suffering in silence trying to navigate their and their children’s way out of seemingly impossible situations.”


By Jay Cook |

This article was first published in the Nov. 2-9, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.


Help 180 Answer The Call

As you probably already know, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. 
All gifts received this #GivingTuesday (November 28, 2017) will support one of our most highly utilized programs – our 24 hour Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotlines. The hotlines are always available and are staffed by highly trained professionals in the field of domestic and sexual violence and human traficking. Everyday, 180 is answering calls and helping to guide victims to safety. Already this year, we have answered 2,805 hotline calls. The hotlines are often the entryway into additional agency services including: emergency shelter at our safe house, counseling, legal and court advocacy, and programs for children such as our Amanda’s Easel Creative Arts Therapy program.
Please donate in honor of #GivingTuesday and your gift will help us answer the call in a victim’s moment of crisis. Your support at any level makes a difference!

Please meet Honor.

I would like to introduce you to Honor. Honor is a two-year old Miniature Therapy Horse who spent time last month with children at our Safe House. Research has shown that equine therapy is an effective way to help heal from trauma.

Domestic abuse survivors and their families can learn from horses, including how to control fear, how to be more assertive and confident and how to connect with others. This was 180’s first experience with this form of therapy and we will be exploring ways to perhaps integrate programs such as this in the future.

At 180 Turning Lives Around, we are always exploring the best ways to meet the needs of our client-families and we welcome interest and support from our community in helping us bring innovative programs to the forefront. If you would like to support 180 and/or explore new initiatives with us, please contact, 180 Executive Director, Anna Diaz White Thank you!

Special thanks to Honor and “Mini Horse Heroes” for making this day possible for our families.

Mini Horse Heroes serve in memory of P.O. Ken Tietjen formerly of Middletown, NJ.  The organization was started in 2001 to honor Port Authority Police Officer, Ken Tietjen, who gave his life saving others on 9/11.