Since 1975 Plaid House has been serving youth and their families in northern New Jersey. Over that time we have helped many young people successfully reunite with their families or move on to become independent adults.
The mission of Plaid House is to provide residential and supportive services to adolescents. Plaid House teaches skills which foster growth, independence and family reunification.
Late one evening prior to Christmas 1970, Kate Merck and her husband received a telephone call from the Morris County Probation Department. They wanted to know if they would take a seventeen year old girl for about a week or so over the Christmas holidays. They were told that the judge wanted to send her to a residential treatment center, but the center was closed over Christmas. They were told that if they did not take her the Sheriff had orders to pick her up at 7.30 am the next day to take her to Clinton State Prison for Women. So Kate took her into her home for the holidays.
In those days children could be incarcerated for committing “crimes” which would not be considered crimes if those same children were adults. Kate was very concerned that the juvenile judge had no options for the situations in which this young woman found herself. She started studying up on group homes and along the way she collected a group of like-minded people who formed the Plaid House Board of Directors. The Board raised the funds to purchase a house on Western Avenue in Morristown and in January 1975 the first girl arrived at Plaid House.
“To re-weave the lives of young women into the fabric of society”
Katharine Evarts Merck, Founder