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Mary Gay Abbott-Young, the voice of the marginalized and homeless for nearly 50 years who has strategically guided the nonprofit Rescue Mission of Trenton through its most challenging times, will be retiring, effective June 30. 

“For nearly a half a century, her impact on the Mission and the City of Trenton has been profound,” said Niel Siekerka, chairman of the Rescue Mission’s Board of Directors. “She is leaving in her legacy an organization that is thriving, continually evolving, and poised to create an even larger impact.” 

Abbott-Young first came to Rescue Mission in 1978 as a program coordinator, bringing a unique blend of compassion, persistence and toughness needed to help people in a downward spiral reclaim and rebuild their lives. Abbott-Young was named CEO in 1986 and led the organization for 35 years before stepping back to the role of president when her son, Barrett Young, took over as CEO in 2021. 

The Rescue Mission of Trenton is an NJBIA member organization focused on providing individuals with the tools to rebuild their lives through a continuum of services ranging from soup kitchen and emergency shelter to licensed-substance abuse treatment, vocational development services and permanent supportive housing. 

“For nearly 50 years, Mary Gay Abbott-Young has been the heart and soul of The Rescue Mission of Trenton, working with the most disenfranchised individuals and getting them off the streets and into programs that address their physical, mental health and substance use treatment needs,” said NJBIA President & CEO Michele Siekerka. 

“As the first woman to lead this 109-year-old organization, she built a team of hard-working like-minded colleagues who shared her passion for feeding the hungry, housing those who are homeless, and providing opportunities for those who are seeking recovery,” Michele Siekerka said. “She has been the heart and soul of an amazing nonprofit organization and NJBIA wishes her well in her retirement.” 

Photo Credit: Mary Gay Abbott-Young, president of the nonprofit Rescue Mission of Trenton. – Photo courtesy of Rescue Mission of Trenton.