Our History

What is now known as "Middle Earth" actually began in October, 1969 through a counseling session between a local church minister and a 15-year-old girl. It was determined that a substantial number of teenagers were spending a significant amount of their time on the "street," experiencing failure in the home and in school. To address this issue, a weekly meeting in the church basement was created between two ministers and approximately 35 young people that the young girl had pulled together. This continued for three years, while the volunteers grew to ten in number. In June, 1972, Middle Earth became incorporated. The agency started with $3,000 in the bank and a commitment of $2,000.

Therefore, Middle Earth was created in direct response to the expressed needs of youth at risk. It began as a drop-in center for youth in Somerville in 1972 (in Bound Brook in 1982), which provided positive alternatives to “hanging out” on the streets. Services included recreation (in-house and in the community), community service, decision-making skills, informal counseling, information and referral, advocacy, and street work. Although the underlying concept of Middle Earth remains the same, the agency has greatly expanded its scope of services to youth over the years as needs have been identified.