Seven years ago this week, the JBWS-led Morris Family Justice Center (MFJC) opened! As JBWS’ first public location, the MFJC enables people to just walk in and be immediately connected with numerous services. Instead of having to navigate complex systems amid intense fear and requiring victims to visit several different sites to receive critical services, the MFJC provides it all in ONE location.
The MFJC and our partner agencies ensure that victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, dating abuse, and sexual assault have access to counseling, protection, children services, legal and immigration assistance, and more. The public location also reduces barriers to assistance for people who are afraid of their phone’s being monitored and would prefer to speak to our staff in-person.
However, the truly unique feature of JBWS’ Morris Family Justice Center is our staff’s commitment to our clients.
“At the MFJC, we recognize that there is no definitive timeline to get a person’s needs met,” explains Maria Lagattuta, Director of the MFJC. “It could take two weeks, or two years, but we will always be here for our clients.”
The MFJC sees clients through some of the most difficult times of their lives. Overwhelmed and grief-stricken clients, who don’t even want to be touched, have asked for hugs after being met with such compassion and understanding from our staff.
“We literally bear witness to what a person is going through and we sit with them through the hard stuff,” says Maria. “We want our clients to come as they are and come as they need.”
If that means that they don’t require help for two months, then they don’t have to seek our services. However, if they realize they need help again or something new arises, they can always come back to the MFJC.
The MFJC’s partner agencies:
County of Morris
Legal Services of Northwest Jersey (LSNWJ)
Morris County Organization for Hispanic Affairs (MCOHA)
Morris County Bar Foundation
Morris County Sexual Assault Center