Mary Inzana began working in the child welfare system for the state of New Jersey in 1969. In 1977, while supervising the Adolescent/Residential unit she called for a collaboration of service providers for teens to coordinate, facilitate, advocate and network so that services were provided in a streamlined and informed community care approach for each teen.
This coalition of over 98 public and private entities was incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit in 1982, becoming the Mercer County Adolescent Coalition (MCAC), Inc. The coalition focused on gaps in services for Mercer teens. The primary, most outstanding need was providing group home care within the confines of Mercer county.
In 1981, Inzana left the State to begin development of what became Triad House, opening the doors in 1985. Triad House served youth 13-18 yrs old who were emotionally, sexually or physically abused, neglected and abandoned. After two years, it became apparent that these youth were not equipped to handle the rigors of living on their own after “aging out” of the system at 18.
To help in their transition to independence, in 1988 Inzana/MCAC created T.I.L.T. (Teenage Independent Living Training), a program to empower adolescents to become self-sufficient and responsible for their own well being as they make the transition to young adulthood.
In 1990, LifeTies opened Rainbow House, the first group home in the nation for adolescents with HIV/AIDS and their children. At that time, young women and their children were in great need of housing and care due to an unprecedented increase of pregnant young girls infected with HIV/AIDS as a result of unprotected sex. Today all HIV/AIDS impacted residents at Rainbow House acquired the disease at birth. In 2009, Rainbow House expanded its services to include medically fragile young women with Lupus, diabetes and severe asthma.
In 1991, MCAC was renamed LifeTies, Inc..
Mary’s Place, LifeTies’ newest program began in 2005. Mary’s Place is a permanent supportive housing program for aging out youth working and/or going to post secondary school.
In 2008, Triad House became the only group home in New Jersey for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth and one of only three in the United States.