Our History

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

-Margaret Mead

The Mission

To provide safe housing, emotional support, life skills, and educational opportunities for youth aging out of foster care; empowering them to rise toward their greatest potential.

Roots & Wings Resident and elder who has become a mentor of his at Roots and Wings

Today, we offer housing in Morris & Union counties and accept young adults from all over the state of New Jersey.

Roots in the Community, Wings to the World

Founded in 1999 by Irene DeGrandpre, a CASA volunteer and New Jersey Hero honoree, R&W began in Morris County as a community-based volunteer operation. Intending to provide an intensive, life-changing program focusing on the empowerment of education and the development of critically necessary life skills, R&W volunteers established a residential program to support these young people as they transition from foster care to independence.


What started as a collaborative, community-based volunteer operation has grown into a well-established organization made up of professional staff and dedicated volunteers and governed by a supportive Board of Trustees.

From the beginning, Roots & Wings has provided:

To young adults who have aged-out of the child welfare system. Roots & Wings provides a foundation for this disadvantaged, high-risk population on which to replace dependency with self-sufficiency.

Smiling Girl Graduating with Friends thankful for how Roots and Wings has helped her accomplish great heights.

Today, we offer housing in Morris & Union counties and accept young adults from all over  New Jersey.  Through housing and case management , we provide a safety net, protecting our young adults from the risks former foster youth face when left without support and guidance, greatly reducing their risk of continued hardship. Our program members leave Roots & Wings better prepared to live independently, with greater resilience, knowledge, and connection the larger community.

All this, because a volunteer in her community decided to change the world, one young adult at a time.