Mission and History
It is the mission of Somerset Home for Temporarily Displaced Children to provide abused, neglected and homeless youth with housing, a stable environment, and supportive services that guide them in becoming contributing members of society.
On Nov. 26, 1973, what was then named the Somerset Youth Shelter opened its doors. It was the first nonprofit, privately run youth shelter in the state. By the fifth day, there were three children. By the seventh day, there were 12. It was filled to capacity, and it has remained that way nearly every day since.
The need is still there and still growing. Somerset Home has gone from serving fewer than 100 youth a year to many hundreds.
The agency has grown from one building and one program to five buildings and seven programs.
The staff has grown from two house parents and a handful of staff to more than 50 people, including full-time and part-time youth counselors, case managers, therapists, resident advisors, program managers and directors, instructors and administrative staff.
The budget has grown from $70,500 to $3.5 million (2011), and expenses have grown, as well, from $65,000 to $3.4 million (2012) – a slim margin, but enough to do the best job possible for the thousands of youth who have found a safe haven here over the years.
"One thing that hasn't changed over the years is our commitment to the kids," says board president Claire Calandra. "And with the help of a caring community, we plan to be here for as long as there are abused, neglected and homeless youth who have nowhere else to turn."