The LifeTies Impact
Through our data collection and evaluation efforts, we have found that for those youth living in our Group Home programs in FY20 (July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020):
of youth progressed in school
of youth were employed in their first job
of seniors graduated high school
of graduates enrolled in college
reported increased levels of life skills attainment
Nurturing wellness and self-sufficiency in vulnerable youth, young adults and their families.
Every Youth and Young Adult Can Enjoy Life’s Possibilities and Have the Resources to be Healthy, Connected,
and Contributing Members of Their Communities.
Our Five Core Principles
Persons Served-Centered Care
Integrity and Responsibility
Promoting the physical and emotional well-being of the persons served
Mary Inzana, a former child welfare worker, and founder of LifeTies Inc, incorporated the Mercer County Adolescent Coalition (MCAC), Inc. as a 501(c)3 non-profit in 1981. (The Coalition was renamed LifeTies, Inc. in 1991.) The Coalition and subsequently LifeTies focused its efforts on older adolescents. At that time, the most outstanding need for this population was providing life skills for youth aging out of the foster care system and group home care within Mercer County.
In 1985, LifeTies' first group home, Triad House opened its doors serving youth who were emotionally, sexually or physically abused, neglected and abandoned. Today Triad House services youth ages 16 to 21. In 2008, recognizing that there was an over representation of LGBTQ+ youth in the child welfare system, 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.
In 1988, the Teen Independent Living and Training Program (T.I.L.T.) was established. Its goal was to empower adolescents to become self-sufficient and responsible for their own well-being as they make the transition to young adulthood. T.I.L.T currently provides one-on-one mentoring to youth residing in Mercer and Burlington Counties and in our group homes.
In 1991, LifeTies opened a second group home, Rainbow House, which was the first group home in the nation for female parenting youth infected 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. As the AIDS infection became less prevalent for this population, Rainbow House began shifting its efforts to serve females with chronic illnesses and behavioral and psychological challenges. In 2013, Rainbow House expanded its services to work with pregnant and parenting young women and their babies.
In 2005 Mary's Place was established providing supportive housing for older adolescents, ages 18-21. Each of the youth are provided with an apartment and supportive services to help them with the transition into adulthood.
In 2008, the LifeTies Clinical Department was established. Its goal is to stabilize the youth through providing trauma informed care through individual, family and group therapy to all youth in our Group Homes.
In 2017, our founding CEO retired and our first Executive Director, Lori Morris was hired. With a strategic effort to expand services into the community, LifeTies launched a Family Engagement program to serve families with vulnerable youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Similiar to the youth in our Group Homes and Mentoring program, many of the youth involved in the juvenile justice system have gone through complex trauma and we recognized the need for family involvement to help them get through the process. We also expanded our Mentoring program to serve youth involved in the juvenile justice system and youth experiencing chronic absenteeism.
In 2019, two new housing programs were launched to focus on unaccompanied and pregnant/parenting homeless young adults. We provide them housing and support to become self-sufficient and move into permanent housing.