Joe Hulihan, M.D., Chair of the Board of Trustees of Mercer Street Friends in Trenton, NJ. will moderate a session at Newtown Friends Meeting adult class series on Sunday, September 16 at 9:45 a.m. followed by worship at 11 a.m. in the traditional Quaker manner of settling into silence from which anyone may speak.
Hulihan, a member of Newtown Quaker Meeting and Newtown resident, will provide an update on how one of the largest providers of basic services to underserved areas of Trenton is adapting to a changing nonprofit landscape. It has been working for 60 years in Trenton and Mercer County to fulfill its mission of “Nourishing Bodies and Minds, Empowering Families and Communities.”
Mercer Street Friends is a Quaker-based social service agency with an annual budget of over $5 million and serves over 30,000 people each year. It provides vital services to children, youth, parents, and adults in a wide range of programs, including the Food Bank which supplies over 60 partner organizations throughout Mercer County.
The Quaker volunteers who created the Mercer Street Friends Center in 1957 and opened it in 1958 were concerned about the needs of residents in a changing city, one that was losing its industrial base and the economic opportunity that it provided. The community center provided the residents of Trenton with a place to gather for social and educational functions and a babysitting co-op for working parents. The Friends Homemaker Service was founded in 1958 to provide employment to members of the community.
Over the years, Mercer Street Friends has expanded its services and has grown to include a number of locations and program sites. It operates the regional food bank, provides education in a certified preschool in Trenton’s West Ward and, in collaboration with the Trenton School District, has established a model program to support students at teachers at the Rivera Community Middle School.