A beacon of hope

Corner House has been an important resource for the youth struggling with substance abuse in the Princeton area 

For over 50 years, Corner House, now known as Corner House Behavioral Health, has been a beacon of hope for adolescents, young people and their families, who struggle with substance use and substance abuse issues.

Begun in 1972 by a group of Princeton residents who were increasingly concerned with rising drug and alcohol problems, Corner House has proven its worth as an established presence in the greater Princeton area. It has been a shining example of the best in treatment, prevention, leadership and outreach.

Corner House has always been open to community input, transparent about finances, inclusive of underserved community members, all-encompassing in treatment and use of best practices, and extremely successful in its programs and leadership opportunities.

Governed by the Municipality of Princeton, Corner House receives funding from the Municipality of Princeton, the State of New Jersey, Mercer County, Princeton Regional Schools, area corporations, foundations, and private donors through the Corner House Foundation. The Foundation raises monies from the Princeton community through a direct mail campaign and an annual benefit.

The Corner House Board, established in 2006, provides recommendations to the town council concerning operation and administration. In recent months, Corner House has faced a number of changes which have made it very difficult for staff members to conduct business as usual. The resignation of the last executive director and office manager have created a disruption to day-to-day operations.

At the present time, there are no plans to hire a new executive director or office manager. There is talk of “restructuring” or “reorganizing,” but so far, this has not happened. Corner House is presently in a holding pattern in many ways.

There is an old adage which states, “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.” Staff, board members and community volunteers who have been affiliated with Corner House over the years would agree that it is not broken. A prime example of the way Corner House has been a role model for excellence in care can be found in its heroic response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Corner House was presented with a unique and unprecedented challenge as the demand for counseling services increased dramatically. Thanks to a swift and effective response by the dedicated staff, Corner House not only met the challenge but exceeded expectations.

Although it was done remotely, there was no disruption in services provided, and no one was turned away. The many clients who came to Corner House with substance abuse and other family crisis issues received the help they so desperately needed.

It would be a travesty to lose sight of how important Corner House is to the Princeton community, and how lucky we are to have such a valuable resource in our midst. Corner House has reached thousands of young people, literally saved countless lives and provided a safe haven for our young people. It deserves our support, our admiration, and our thanks.

Wendy Jolley

Past Corner House Board Chair

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