Honoree: Jim White

For 35 years, Jim White has dedicated his life to rescuing thousands of homeless young women and men from the dangerous streets and treating them with dignity, love and respect. He has served in multiple roles at Covenant House from volunteer to direct care worker to CEO of Covenant House International to back home to New Jersey to serve as Executive Director of Covenant House New Jersey.

Jim was the founder of the first Rights Of Passage program which is a transitional program for young women and men. This model of care has been proven successful and has been a best practice internationally.

Jim garnered the support and funds needed to open our first International program in Guatemala, providing services for the most needy abused and trafficked girls and boys on the streets.

In 2003, a program for homeless mothers and babies in Elizabeth NJ called Raphael’s Life House was struggling financially and unable to keep their doors open. Jim was instrumental in forging a partnership between Raphael’s Life House and Covenant House New Jersey. Since then, more than 1500 mothers and their babies have found shelter, parenting support, life skills and most importantly love and respect at Raphael’s Life House, now managed by Covenant House New Jersey. This Mother Child transitional living program serves 12 mothers and 12 babies.

Trafficking survivors have traditionally remained an invisible and untreated population. Jim used his brain power and resources to create a research partnership between Covenant House NJ and Mount Sinai to develop tools to more effectively identify and treat trafficking victims as they come through emergency rooms, treatment programs and shelters. This partnership resulted in the 2017 published study: Recognizing Human Trafficking Among Homeless Youth and a new assessment tool being used across the country. Once identified, these youth, primarily women, are able to heal and are empowered to take control of their own stories and reclaim their own power.