Lifeties homeless shelter organization appoints a new director

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Lori Morris, Ph.D. appointed as Executive Director at LifeTies
Lori Morris, Ph.D. appointed as Executive Director at LifeTies

LifeTies, Inc. has appointed  Lori Morris, Ph.D. as its new Executive Director at the Ewing Township facility. LifeTies was the first in the country to open a group home for adolescent youth and their children infected with HIV/AIDS due to unprotected sex. They were the first group in New Jersey to create a home that specialized in serving LGBT homeless youth.

“The board is delighted to welcome Dr. Morris as its new Executive Director” said Dr. Bryan Baugh, president of the Board of Trustees. “Dr. Morris’ professional history shows her commitment to children and youth at risk, while her vision for youth, skills, external relationships and leadership ability will help to ensure that LifeTies continues to grow and broaden its community and statewide impact.”

Dr. Morris was co-founder and the first Executive Director of Court Appointed Special Advocates of Mercer County, Inc. which was established in 2000. In 2011, the Burlington and Mercer County branches merged and Dr. Morris was the director for both programs. Under her leadership, the programs became well established in the family court system and over 200 volunteer advocates served over 320 foster youth annually. After leaving her position in February, 2016, she moved on to two consecutive Interim Executive Director posts at CASA of Union County and Bergen County CASA to assist them with organizational transitions. She is co-chair of the Mercer County Youth Homeless committee and is a member of the New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect Staffing and Oversight Review Subcommittee. She also served as a co-chair of the National CASA Performance Measurement Committee.

“It is with great pride I join LifeTies as Executive Director,” noted Dr. Morris. “I have always admired the work done at LifeTies; throughout their 35 history, they have been cutting edge in identifying and providing needed services for the most vulnerable youth in New Jersey. LifeTies creates an environment for the youth that celebrates diversity regarding sexual orientation, religion and ethnicity. During the two decades I’ve spent advocating for the needs of foster youth, it is evident that the older youth, especially those with emotional, medical or behavioral challenges are the most vulnerable. LifeTies provides a nurturing, holistic and supportive approach in working with the youth so they can become positive and productive members of our communities.”

Dr. Morris holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University and an undergraduate degree from Smith College. Prior to her many Executive Director positions, she worked as a Research Scientist at Educational Testing Service, and was a consultant for New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts and Princeton University Center for Arts and Cultural Policy.

LifeTies is a nonprofit organization that provides care and services to youth in crisis due to sexual orientation, gender, abuse, neglect, homelessness, and various health issues including HIV/AIDS, Lupus, and Diabetes. LifeTies currently has four programs. Triad House, is a residential group home for youth ages 16-21 with emotional, medical and behavioral challenges. Rainbow House is a special needs housing program for female adolescents, ages 12-21, who are medically fragile, pregnant or parenting or struggling with emotional and behavioral challenges. Mary’s Place is a supportive housing program for youth between the ages of 18-21 that provides scattered site housing in Mercer County, NJ.  T.I.L.T. (Teenage Independent Living Training) is a mentoring program using volunteers from the community who serve male and female adolescents, ages 15-21.

For more information, visit lifeties.org