Homeless groups merge, won’t change services

February 17, 2012
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No program or service cuts are expected in a Pine Street Inn and hopeFound merger that was announced at the end of January.

HopeFound, which primarily runs the Shattuck Shelter at 170 Morton St., and the Pine Street Inn, which is based in the South End and has facilities throughout JP, are expected to merge under the name and management of Pine Street Inn. The transition should be completed by the end of March.

“The purpose of the merger is to better coordinate services for the homeless,” said Mary Nee, executive director of hopeFound. “This was not in response to problems. We share a client population.”

Nee, who will step down and serve as a consultant during the transition, said that while there would be no services cut, over time there might be management consolidation.

Informal discussions about the merger began in late 2010 when Nee raised the notion that both organizations would be more effective together. She said that the agencies compliment each other, with hopeFound providing emergency shelter and addiction treatment, and Pine Street Inn having permanent housing.

“Our two agencies coming together will break down barriers,” said Nee.

One place that provides emergency care is the Shattuck Shelter. Nee noted that the merger will not impact the shelter.

“I think we recognize, and the Pine Street Inn does too, that there is always a need for a safety net,” Nee said of the shelter.

She added, “There hasn’t been a vacant bed there for the past 13 years.”

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