Save the Date for Bonnie Brae’s 3rd Annual “Frisbee for Fun” Ultimate Frisbee Competition – October 15, 2017! To learn more, click here.

Fast Facts

NJ Therapeutic School For At-Risk Boys


IMG_8618What exactly is Bonnie Brae?

Bonnie Brae is an extraordinary residential school and therapeutic community for New Jersey boys in crisis, ages 8-21. We are a nationally accredited Residential Treatment Center, meaning we are equipped with teams of clinicians, special education teachers and highly trained residential staff to give individualized mental health, educational, physical and residential care to the boys we serve. Bonnie Brae’s Vision is to: Transform more lives of at-risk youth and their families through a nationally recognized model of care. Bonnie Brae’s Mission is: Empowering youth and families to achieve small victories every day through comprehensive care and education. In 100 years, Bonnie Brae has helped more than 10,000 boys and 10,000 families.


Who are the boys of Bonnie Brae?

Nearly all of the boys who come to Bonnie Brae have suffered abuse, neglect or abandonment and arrive after an average of 5.8 out of home placements. They represent nearly every county in New Jersey: In 2015, 40% were African American; 34% Caucasian; 17% Latino; 8% Biracial; and 1% Asian

How many boys do we serve and how long do they stay with us?

We serve up to 114 boys at a time, about 93 on our main campus situated on 100 acres in Liberty Corner; 8 at our Community Based Transitional Living Home in New Brunswick;  8 at our Community Based Transitional Home in Bound Brook, the Van Houten House; and 5 at our new Transitional Living Home in Bridgewater, the Brozowski Liberty House. The average stay is 12-18 months.

How is Bonnie Brae funded?

Most of Bonnie Brae’s basic operational costs are provided through reimbursement for services by public, state and federal sources. Nearly all of Bonnie Brae’s capital costs associated with the upkeep of 25 buildings; and costs for special trips, scholarships, and ‘extras’ that make Bonnie Brae unique are covered through private sources, such as investment income, grants, individual giving, and special events. Public reimbursement rates have remained flat for seven years while our expenses have risen, creating an urgency to increase our private funding streams.

How well is Bonnie Brae managed?

In the past 10 years, Bonnie Brae’s experienced management team and Board of Trustees have more than doubled the number of boys served each year; dramatically increased the amount of services offered to these boys; increased annual revenue over expenses by 126%; reduced management costs from 17.7% to 11.1% of general expenses (vs. the average non-profit 15%). In August of 2016, new Chief Executive Officer, Paul Rieger, joined the Bonnie Brae community, bringing 25 years of experience with national organizations serving at-risk youth. Mr. Rieger and our Board of Trustees are aiming to keep Bonnie Brae’s growth on an upward trajectory by expanding our unique “continuum of care.”

What is new and exciting at Bonnie Brae?

In 2012 Bonnie Brae successfully completed a $2.1 million dollar renovation on four of our state-of-the-art, LEED Silver certified cottages. In 2013, we opened our second Community Based Transitional Living Home, for 8 boys in Bound Brook, NJ; and completed a new solar array, which provides 85% of our campus energy needs. In 2015 we opened our first community based transitional living home in Bridgewater, NJ for young men 18-21 – thus expanding our continuum of care. We reinvigorated our community with a 100th Anniversary Celebration, launched a publicity campaign, are expanding our Board of Trustees and recently completed and are implementing a new strategic plan that is guiding us through our 100th Anniversary until the year 2020.

How successful is Bonnie Brae?

When boys arrive at Bonnie Brae:

  • 64% had been runaways averaging 5.8 placements before coming to Bonnie Brae;
  • 67% had been abused, neglected or witnessed violence inside or outside the home;
  • 70% were taking psychotropic medications;
  • 95% had school problems including multiple suspensions, expulsions and truancy.


When boys leave Bonnie Brae:

  • 85% graduated successfully from our program (moving to a less restrictive setting, breaking the downward spiral);
  • 64% were reunified with their families and 67% felt Bonnie Brae helped them to get along better with family members, friends and other people;
  • 100% of all eligible Bonnie Brae seniors graduated from Bonnie Brae high school compared to the statewide average of 83%.
  • 46% decreased their psychotropic medications and an additional 21% were reduced to no psychotropic medications.

In our most recent survey of alumni who were discharged between 2008-2014, we found that the Bonnie Brae experience has had lasting impact:

  • 81% are living in the community in stable living arrangements
  • 44% are working part-time or full-time jobs in the community
  • 73% are enrolled in high school or have graduated
  • 26% are enrolled in post-secondary education
  • 60% have had no contact with the criminal justice system

How does Bonnie Brae Contribute to the Surrounding Communities?

  • As Brae Builders building more than 34 homes with Habitat for Humanity, Knights Drummers playing in community parades and events; Volunteers feeding the homeless with Bridges and providing water for participants of Tunnels to Towers; Ambassadors for tours and Sustainability presentations

How can you help?

  • Come for a tour and bring your families, friends, faith communities, schools, sports teams, community groups….
  • Send a check for: the new Bridgewater Community Based Transitional Living Home or for other capital needs; or the boys’ Summer Vacation; or  equipment for the Bonnie Brae Knights Drummers.

To learn more, contact Bonnie Brae at 908-647-0800