CHiPS: The non-profit giving Brooklyn residents a second chance

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PARK SLOPE -

For nearly 50 years, a non-profit in Park Slope has been changing the lives of Brooklyn residents in need.

By providing food, shelter and other resources, Community Help in Park Slope, Inc. or “CHiPS” is all about putting people first.

LeeAnn Gonzalez, 24, came to CHiPS when she was eight months pregnant. 

"I was kicked out of my home. It was really scary, it was tough, I didn't have nowhere else to go,” says Gonzalez.

She gave birth to her son Julian and has been living at CHiPS in Park Slope ever since. 

"Everything is going good for me here,” says Gonzalez.

Taking in pregnant women in need is not the only service CHiPS provides to the community.

The non-profit has a soup kitchen downstairs and offers all kinds of services free of charge.

It also has nurses on premise weekly to make sure everyone is doing well, and even a barber about once a month. 

Executive Director Denise Scarvella says she knows CHiPS is making a difference for so many. 

"I think it is a safe haven. They not only know us, they know the volunteers, they know each other, so it's really a community within a community,” says Scarvella.

The women living in the shelter with their babies upstairs tell News 12 they don't know where they would be if it wasn't for CHiPS.

Gonzalez says thanks to weekly presentations at the shelter, she now knows she wants to work in a bakery. 

"I would've never known that if it wasn't for CHiPS,” she says.

She's currently interviewing for jobs, and says she now looks forward to her and her baby's future. 

"They motivated me and I'm very blessed to have CHiPS in my life,” says Gonzalez.

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