Cleveland Nonprofit Merger Grows Impact of Homeless Services

Posted on June 01, 2011 by Pam Truitt

On May 1 two Cleveland-based organizations that serve the homeless merged — for the right reasons. New Life Community and Interfaith Hospitality Network, organizations that now now operate under the new name Family Promise of Greater Cleveland stated the following facts in a press release:

  • The merger makes them the largest Cleveland-based organization focused exclusively on homeless
  • Both organizations are financially strong
  • The merger will permit expanded services to meet rising demand — at a time when grants and government funding are diminishing
  • No staff positions will be lost

According to the release, Family Promise of Greater Cleveland will be able to serve 25 to 35 percent more families with the same number of staff.

  • The merger will save at least $100,000 in administrative costs.  The savings will be pumped into new programs.
  • The merger was supported by local community foundations, specifically the Deaconess Community Foundation.

Using Google, I didn’t find anything controversial or negative about the merger. It appears that it took about 2 years.  Reading about homelessness in Wikipedia, I winced at the statistics — 1 percent of the US population is homeless in any given week — that translates into 3.5 million people. Yes — million.

Yet, I feel a sense of peace when I look at the adorable little boy on the front page of the Family Promise website. I hope his family was helped by the merger and subsequent birth of Family Promise.

The Patterson Foundation’s Collaborative Restructuring Initiative is building capacity by providing funding for third-party, independent facilitators to assist in nonprofit partnerships. A merger was the appropriate solution for Family Promise of Greater Cleveland, however, nonprofit partnerships can take various forms and follow the needs and desires of mission-aligned organizations.

What do you think about this merger?  Does it hold promise for making an impact on the homeless? Please share your thoughts.


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