Fascinatingly enough, many nonprofits nationwide do not often merge. However, two Boston based charities have gone outside of the norm. With over seventy years of experience combined, Pine Street Inn and hopeFound, the two main Boston-based organizations fighting against homelessness, have joined forces.
This combination of minds and talents does not, surprisingly enough, mean there will be a resulting increase in the eight hundred beds the two agencies currently have, nor any notable expansion of personnel to report for the new group. The central goal is to get the combined over 1,700 men and women associated with these administrations into permanent housing and to make this transition easier than ever before.
One way of alleviating the stress and difficulty of homelessness from these individuals’ lives is that initially with the Pine Street Inn, homeless people are constantly kept involved in job training programs while at hopeFound they were put through a job placement program. Participants would frequently be referred from one organization to another, close to 70% of the time, so a more central merged administration with everything at the people’s disposal is far the superior.
Mary Nee, the former Executive Director at hopeFound recently had breakfast with Lydia Downie, the head of Pine Street Inn. The consensus was that hopeFound was in essence finding that it would be extremely difficult to keep their services going at the level that would make them proud. Instead of faltering as a long-serving nonprofit agency and abandoning their clients in need, Nee and Downie determined the best course of action would be to merge.
The merger will go under the name of just ‘The Pine Street Inn’ which will engulf everything hopeFound had to offer to establish an even better quality and breadth of service. Discussions have been going on over the past year because $50,000 was needed from the Catalyst Fund which supports voluntary collaborative ventures and mergers among nonprofit organizations. Mayor Thomas M. Menino had nothing but praise and support to say regarding these groups and their strategic and careful considerations in coming to this choice. Nee, who will now serve as a consultant during this transition, and Downie hope to be a model of success for nonprofit mergers worldwide. The Pine Street Inn ultimately will keep improving their programs and efforts as they strive to officially end homelessness in and around our great city of Boston.