Our student internship program provides hands-on training with supervision to students from more than 15 area colleges and universities studying Social Work, Sociology, Nursing, and, on occasion, Pastoral Studies – all within the Center environment. Students from CCCDC’s internship program go on to serve on CCCDC’s staff and the staffs of many Bergen County service providers.

What is an internship like?

  • Team-oriented, interns work in pairs or groups to complete tasks
  • Direct interaction with clients/guests
  • A very friendly and collaborative environment among interns and the rest of the team, supervisors are on-call if in need
  • Autonomy is encouraged amongst interns – interns solve problems and adjust processes to maximize service to guests and benefit to the team as a whole.
  • Regular intern tasks include screening guests, delivering disposition and review responses, and making follow up phone calls. Other tasks include helping guests apply for identification or fill out housing forms, responding to guest voicemails, and making other outreach phone calls.


Hello, my name is Marie S. I am a student at Seton Hall University, getting my Master in Social Work. I have been interning with the Next Step Shelter since September 2021 along with my other colleagues. For my first year, the advisor places you where it fits your schedule ( especially if you work full time, the hours there are very flexible to complete your intern hours). I am glad my advisor chose the Next Step shelter for me to join. I am grateful to work with wonderful staff and guests at the shelter. The TEAM makes you feel welcome and makes sure you are NEVER alone during any events. During the time I started interning I ALWAYS had the staff and my peers with me. As a Social work student, I get to hear the guests' stories and reasons as to why they are in need of shelter and learn the proper skills to ensure that guests are getting the right services from the Next Step Shelter. Overall, my experience there has been great and helped me get out of my comfort zone especially during the screenings.
M.S (Marie)
During my time interning at the shelter I felt that my awareness for this population had increased. Prior to this experience I had very little exposure to the homeless population. In coming to the shelter I realize how homelessness can happen to anyone. With that being said I’ve had the privilege of getting to know other populations as well such as immigration, domestic violence, substance use etc. This is a great opportunity for some who are still deciding what area they would like to specialize in. We get the opportunity to work individually and conduct group sessions. The diverse populations we serve is a great learning opportunity. At the shelter we are all working collaboratively to help guests meet their needs. There is a diverse team of staff and interns that are all wonderful and supportive through the learning process.
Ruth R. Ruiz
Being an intern for CCCDC Next Step has been one of the best experiences in my professional career. I did not intend on working with this population, but once I started here it allowed me to learn more than I ever would have about homelessness and the housing processes within our county. I have never worked with a more collaborative team; supervisors and interns work together to ensure each guest is receiving the appropriate care. There are always a multitude (10-15+) of other interns you get to work with and learn from, which I had never experienced before. You learn so much as you go but are never alone or thrown into the deep end. I would also be remiss if I did not give an immense amount of credit to the supervisors, Adelina and Sharyn. They are beyond knowledgeable, supportive and above all want to see you succeed in your field. I love this internship and it has completely broadened my perspectives on life.
Jenna DiTommaso, MSW Candidate
CCCDC Intern 2021-2022
I entered this placement not knowing what to expect and it turned out to be one of the best experiences I've had at an internship HANDS DOWN. Never have I received such support not only from my fellow interns but my supervisors as well. And the mountain of knowledge I have retained surpasses what I could learn in a classroom environment. I'm forever grateful to CCCDC!
Jen Robertson
My time at NextStep has been incredibly rewarding and interesting. I've had the opportunity to interview many guests that need our services. They come to us with a myriad of crisis situations and it's really rewarding to be the first contact to put them in touch with the correct services. I've learned so much through your guidance and support in addition to the other incredible and knowledgeable staff members and interns.
Over the last few months, I have been interning at Bergen County Shelter. Overall, the experience has been incredibly positive and informative and has provided me with a unique opportunity to reflect on the theories that I have been learning about in my studies and observe them in practice. I have also become far more culturally competent and knowledgeable about the homeless population. The administration and employees were very supportive and helpful. My foremost takeaway experience happened when I began to facilitate an art group weekly. I can not express in words how incredible my first group was. I will miss this place!
What I appreciate most about my internship experience is that it allowed me to work with a variety of different populations. I've learned that this internship is what you make of it. There are people who will help you at the beginning, but it is mostly up to you to learn how you can become useful to them. The best quality someone can have is being able to service others, which will help me throughout my career as a social worker.
The Next Step Program is more than an internship. It is an eye-opening experience. I have never met so many individuals from all walks of life with such wisdom, humor, and expression. Aside from the guests at the shelter, the supervisors are exceptionally kind and strong-hearted. One thing is for sure, your days at the Next Step Program will never be dull.
Maria V