Our Investment, Their Future
A PREMIER FAMILY CENTER AND A NEW STATE-OF-THE ART RESIDENTIAL COTTAGE
Our vision to take Bonnie Brae into the next century is bold. We’ve made significant investments over the last few years, but our planned renovation and construction project marks a milestone on our path to an even better future. These next two urgent on-campus priorities are: repurposing a historic cottage into a premier Family Center; and the construction of a new state-of-the-art Residential Cottage for 12 young men.
Our role in helping the boys and young men we serve, is based on a well-established formula of care, which heals families. Typically, 62% of our young men come from some type of supportive family system, and we hope to do more for these families and we want to do it better. Currently, we are limited by insufficient space to fully address family dynamics in ways that foster even greater progress and success.
“We want to be a resource for you and your families in our next 100 years.”
Paul D. Rieger, MSW, Chief Executive Officer
Want to Learn More?
Download our CASE FOR SUPPORT or contact Heather Small at 908-647-8803.
The Meaning Behind Conscious Kids Cottage
Oct 02, 2019
On October 10th, at Bonnie Brae's Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, we will officially name our newly built state-of-the-art cottage, the "Conscious Kids Cottage." This name comes from the name of the private foundation, Conscious Kids, who invested most in making possible the construction of this building. Bonnie Brae Trustee Keisha Richardson, is a dedicated advocate for at-risk young people and brings heart and passion to serving the needs of children not only through her work as a Bonnie Brae Trustee, but also as a Trustee of Conscious Kids, Inc. Several years ago, Keisha met the founder of Conscious Kids, Marlee-Jo Jacobson, and was invited by Marlee-Jo to become a trustee of her foundation (Conscious Kids). Inspired by the life and vision of Marlee-Jo Jacobson, the Conscious Kids mission is: "To support at-risk children and young adults, with a primary goal of providing educational support and a secondary goal of providing general support and life enhancements." The foundation was started as a small private fund run by the foundress in 2008. It grew after her death and in 2013 started making extensive grants to nonprofits intent on furthering the foundress's vision. Marlee Jo Jacobson believed that the experiences of orphans and "at risk" children could provide unique value to organizations and society as a whole. Her embodiment of service to the community at large, gratitude and grace in the face of success as well as adversity, and optimism and hope through all of life's challenges continues to inspire. Bonnie Brae looks forward to honoring Conscious Kids and the legacy of Marlee Jo Jacobson on October 10th.
OUR GOAL IS TO CREATE A PREMIER FACILITY FOR FAMILIES, THE BEST OF ITS KIND IN THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY
FAMILY MEETING SPACE
Young men and families will visit in an ideal environment closely modeled upon home-life. The Family Meeting Space will have four private areas for family visits, where parents or families can spend time with sons or brothers, see progress and have meaningful dialogue. Because of insufficient space, currently we cannot maximize potential for family progress. Most weekends, there are 20 or more family members gathered in cramped office spaces throughout the campus.
PRIVATE THERAPY ROOMS
Our staff and counselors will be able to offer a more professional and holistic experience of family therapy in a space conducive to positive, healthy family interactions. The Family Therapy Rooms will also give us the ability to bring Bonnie Brae staff together to review issues, chronicle progress, strengthen communication, and deepen the understanding of our young men’s treatment plans. These meetings are critical to the development of our residents, to their families’ involvement in their growth, and to sustainable family relationships after leaving Bonnie Brae.
COMPASSIONATE ADMISSIONS CARE
Warm, inviting space will better allow us to welcome young men into the Bonnie Brae community during an often traumatic time in their lives.
Education space would allow us to share with larger Northern New Jersey communities our expertise from 100 years of experience. Typical classes/workshops might be on: blended families; adolescent mental health; foster care; health and wellness; as well as professional training for staff and internships for students from local colleges and graduate schools.
POTENTIAL OUTPATIENT SERVICES
We are assessing opportunities to provide select outpatient services.
WELCOMING LEGACY SPACE
Alumni and their families would be able to share memories with each other and other residents in a new Welcome Center with extraordinary displays highlighting our 100–year history. There will be space to share memories, renew friendships and to interact creatively with Bonnie Brae’s history and legacy, as well as meet current staff.
"THE WORK WE DO WITH YOUTH AND FAMILIES IS EXPONENTIAL: when we change a family, they go back into a community and engender change, and that change ultimately gets paid forward...In my 25 years we have tripled the number of young men and families that we work with, and while I am grateful for the resources we have, I am a realist to know that we can do better.”
Jamie Rau, MSW, Bonnie Brae Clinical Director
THE NEW RESIDENTIAL COTTAGE
THE NEW RESIDENTIAL COTTAGE
A stellar reputation, an exceptional track record and a legacy of distinction cannot help but result in even higher expectations and increased demand. Bonnie Brae is almost always filled to capacity and there is often a wait list. Since 2015, we are serving more boys on our main campus, and now we need additional living space! A new state-of-the-art Residential Cottage for 12 young men will provide more space to live, heal and grow.
“Cottage Life” plays a vital role in the growth and success of each young man. Bonds are formed between residents and cottage staff as they work through issues together, creating a healthy environment that cultivates positive growth and success. When a young man enters the Bonnie Brae community, expectations are set from day one and he is responsible for: actively participating in the physical care of his cottage; being respectful of others in his cottage; participating in daily “group” sessions where he receives feedback — both positive and negative — from his peers; and participating in team-building activities, which contribute to an atmosphere of pride and ownership.
Our new Residential Cottage will allow us to meet our expectations for a quality living environment, and offer the space and amenities to maximize positive growth and change for each young man. In the words of our Residential Director, Phil Errico, who has been with us for over 30 years, “The cottage will strike a nice balance between interaction and privacy,” offering large space for activities, 12 private bedrooms, a clinician’s office, and two laundry rooms. This “balance” will allow us to better address our residents’ emotional and behavioral challenges in a natural and holistic way. The cottage will also enhance our ability to offer multiple programs for the residents at the same time. There are even two porches for boys to sit and enjoy the beautiful views of our campus!